I woke up this morning in a funk that carried over from last night–kind of from the whole weekend, actually. I’d had an OK weekend, really, so it wasn’t obvious where the funk was coming from. As I was trying to pin down what it was so I could kid myself that I could wrestle it to the ground, I looked outside and saw it was snowing. Great. I usually get excited for the first snow of the season, but all I could think of was having to brush off the car and slogging in it.
I walked along to the train, hood up, shoulders hunched as if it were blizzarding; if I’d been a cartoon character, I’d have had one of those storm clouds hovering over my head. My brain was busy reviewing all the things that could be causing the funk–every new Trump pick for an important office tears the day-old scab off a wound that hasn’t even begun to heal, I have friends and family members who are struggling with various difficult personal situations, and I ran around during the weekend, but didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. On and on the brain whirred, feeling very useful and important.
And then I finally saw it. I looked down at a little patch of grass and saw how the snow was covering it just enough to be pretty, but not enough to impede me. The sidewalk was wet, not snowy. And then I remembered how I had the exact same thought just a month ago while on a hike in the White Mountains. Snow, heck even cold, can be a dangerous thing in the Whites. Just because they aren’t 10,000 feet high doesn’t mean they can’t kill you. I was hiking through a forest around a pond that could have been the location for Lord of the Rings, and it started to snow lightly. I was warm enough and could see it wasn’t accumulating on the trail, so I was able to open up to the magic that any moment a hobbit could appear on the trail.
I smiled at the memory, and then the whole world opened up. The city, in its gritty little concentrated way can be just as beautiful. And so I started taking pictures:
The beautiful strength of sweet peas still blooming from the unseasonably warm fall, and now holding court in an abandoned patch of land.
While this picture may not conjure up a hobbit poking his head out, a garden gnome certainly could.
Yes, Virginia, even sidewalk weeds can get a little magic from the first snow.
And, of course, there’s always cool man-made structures that can be made better with nature’s help.
Noticing the immediate world around me and taking the photos shut Busy Brain down, and I remembered that meditating on the train would be a good thing. Oh, Busy Brain put up a bit of fuss, “Hey what about our funk? We have to figure this out. You can’t just do nothing about this funk!” But by the end of the train ride, the funk was back where it belonged as a type of music to dance to. Brain was off pouting, and I walked the rest of the way to work feeling gratitude in the gentle little snow and keeping a sharp eye out for gnomes and hobbits.