|A view from my office window a couple of storms ago
I have colleagues on the other side of the world who marvel at the storm pictures I post on Facebook. They don’t have snow where they live. And where they live, it seems like every other week they have a day off for some sort of festival or another. I mentioned this to my son on our way to school one morning recently. “Wouldn’t it be kind of neat to have so many celebrations?”
“I imagine that would be a fun kind of way to go through life: always having special occasions, feasts, and celebrations with family and friends. Having days off…”
“Yes, it would.”
Then we were silent. I thought about how it would be a good idea to celebrate, honor, and appreciate things more – not just the big things, but the little things, too. He may or may not have been thinking about festivals and celebrations. It’s possible he was thinking about his Latin midterm. And wishing for the day off.
Imagine how different life would be if instead of dreading that chorus concert because you hate singing (and everyone knows you hate singing), celebrating the fact that you participated quasi-enthusiastically despite how you felt about it. Or what if instead of complaining about school work, you appreciated the fact that you have the opportunity to get a good education? Or how about honoring your teammates who made a basketball win possible, even if you didn’t feel like you played your personal best?
Sometimes there are occasions we can’t imagine how to celebrating at the time, like a job layoff. But then it turns out if that door hadn’t slammed shut, all the subsequent doors to new opportunities and new inspiration would still be locked. Or perhaps you don’t feel like appreciating the two hours it takes to drive your son to and from school every day, but when you look at the situation with a more “festive” approach, you can revere the daily hour you get to spend with your 15-year old.
When we got hit with our first snow storm of this season on Thanksgiving, there were extra reasons beyond the holiday to celebrate: we didn’t lose power, so we could cook a meal – and watch football and movies. On the eve of yet another blizzard, I am reminded that winter is not my favorite season, but instead of marking time until Spring, I can appreciate it the best way I can, from the inside of my home or at a hockey arena. I can celebrate our garage and plow guy.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.”