The kids didn’t have school for a couple days at the end of last week, so we had a pleasant four day weekend together. I did a little work, but also hung out with the boys quite a bit and was generally distracted from the world. This morning, everyone went back to school (including Kim, who was teaching) and I was left to deal with reality by myself. I didn’t like it.
It had snowed lightly overnight and was generally cold and dreary outside. As I sat at my computer, trying to focus on some annual training videos, it started to snow fairly heavily. I was having a hard time focusing on the training, distracted by a low level drone of anxiety over the general state of the world. I needed a break, but couldn’t think of anything to fit the bill. I stared bleakly out the window in a kind of trance, just watching the snow fall.
I went back to the training, but just a few minutes later, I glanced up again. The snow had stopped and the day was becoming considerably brighter. Going over to the window, I looked to the south and saw that the clouds were thinning quickly and there was blue sky appearing in the cracks. I didn’t need any bigger push than that. I put the laptop down, grabbed my camera gear, and went outside.
I started by wandering around our backyard prairie garden and a few smaller native wildflower plantings, enjoying the snow caps on seed heads and other plant parts. There were even some late blossoms on some wildflowers, whose vibrant color contrasted nicely with the fresh snow. Since the sun looked like it was going to stay out for a while, I eventually jumped in the truck and headed over to Lincoln Creek Prairie on the other side of town, where I walked around a little more.
By the time I got back, the world seemed a little brighter, and not just because of the sunlight and (now melting) snow. I thought about how fortunate I am to live where I have easy access to the kind of natural beauty I have around me. I was also very grateful – as always – to have my particular job, which allows me the flexibility to run off to the prairie for an hour or so when the mood strikes me.
I was granted distraction and solace when I needed it today. Whatever brings relief to each of you, I hope you’re all able to tap into what you need in the coming days.