We are tucked in our homes like groggy bears, behind mounds of snow and impassable roads.
We are in suspended animation. We are in hibernation hesitation.
We have been “tucked in” for months really; barricaded by closed schools or friendships frozen from quarantine. Stuck in our homes like quicksand; the weather is too cold for playgrounds and the virus is hiding like so many snipers above our favorite indoor hangouts.
We peer out like anxious bear cubs sniffing the air for spring, but duck back in when the polar vortex freezes our nostrils.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit antsy these days—pacing the four walls of my house, tracing calendar days with my fingertips, and searching the internet for springtime Airbnb’s.
Yet I am here gazing at dazzling snow heaps from my kitchen window, while my kids running about like Tasmanian Devils in yesterday’s underwear, their faces a perpetual blue hue from too much screen time. Toys and puzzles and art supplies gather like drifts under tables and crumbling blanket forts clutter every room. My husband gets to leave for work; I get to leave for the grocery store on Tuesday nights (if I’m lucky).
I struggle as I suffocate under a self-inflicted pile of “SHOULDS”: I should be working out; I should be writing; I should be doing yoga; I should be eating less cookies and more salad; I should making crafts with the kids; I should be a more fun mom….I find it hard to breathe from the weight of them.
Yet I know it is the resistance that creates my struggle. It is not this situation that causes me pain, but my unwillingness to accept it. Accepting the present situation and releasing my resistance will greatly diminish my feelings of discontent.
The current situation is as it is. It is not inherently Bad. It might be boring and repetitive, lonely and gray, but not Bad.
We are in a time of pause – a cold, February, end of winter, dragging-on pandemic pause. There is nothing I can do to change it, but I can recognize that it is not permanent.
The one thing we can be sure of is that nothing lasts forever and everything changes.
So I am trying to find acceptance in this time of hibernation:
If my family wears jammies all day and rents movies from Prime, that’s ok. If I bake a dozen peanut butter cookies and eat them for lunch, that’s ok. If I read books all day while my kids play Roblox, that’s ok. If outside time only lasts for 15 minutes because I forgot to sew shut the hole in my daughter’s snowpants, that’s ok.
Eckhart Tolle says that we must approach every present moment in either a state of Acceptance, Joy or Enthusiasm. And often, once we shift ourselves out of resistance into a state of acceptance, joy miraculously pops up where we least expect it.
This morning I bundled up in all my gear and went on a cold walk through the glittering untouched snow. Nobody else was ready to get outside yet, but I didn’t let it stop me from following my gut desire to be out there in it.
It was like the snow from my youth in Chicago, deep and powder cold– so white, it’s blue. There is a magical stillness in early morning snow; a beauty in the muted covering up, like a blank piece of paper waiting for a poem. I sat there, in the cold, in the moment, in my acceptance, and I found Joy.
©Skye Nicholson 2021