The new fallen snow. A white covering of all things. Landscapes that yesterday we thought horrible are now pristine and beautiful. The broken down Big Wheel, the swing collapsed on the ground, the garbage strewn along the side of the house. All of the things that we just do. We are too busy to pick it up. We are too lazy to fix this or that. We grow complacent. This is my lot. This is the best I can do. But when that first snow falls everything changes. All of a sudden, that house looks as good as all the houses on the block. No one has garbage cans tipped over, or anything out of place. It all looks white. It all looks new. It all looks right. The bad things are covered; temporarily out of sight. For a time, we take a sigh of relief and get a sense of well- being. For a time, it looks like we have done what we are supposed to have done. We are upright citizens. We have a sense of confidence. “This old place really isn’t so bad”, we tell ourselves. But at some point, the snow will melt. The fading façade will reveal the real truth. Maybe we don’t really have it all together. Maybe we feel as bad as the yard looks. Maybe all this beautiful snow is covering up more than just the physical mess, but also the mess inside. Maybe the messy yard is indicative of the inner mess. Maybe I’m just a mess.
Everyone has stuff going on. The thing is, what we do with it. Some will sit and ponder their mess. They will mull over past events, decisions. They will wallow over regrets and opportunities they have let slip through their fingers. These are not the folks who have a regret or two, but rather the ones that put a high importance on each one and place it on a pedestal. Their regrets are so consuming that their physical surroundings begin to morph out of their emotional selves. Their white snowy blanket is just a fleeting reprieve from the cell they have created for themselves. To catch a breath before going back into the torment of living a life of what if’s.
Others will try and keep their snowy camouflage as long as possible. They will take the innocent snow and add sparkle and decorations. They will dress it up so no one will see the emptiness which is their true self. Their need for love, acceptance, belonging. These are such monumental and blaring feelings that they must keep adding bling to try and silence them. These are the ones who we suspect the least of having to hide anything. The ones who look so beautiful yet hurt so badly, and the last ones to ask for help.
And then there is the house on the street that is still trying, but has seen better days. The blanket of snow signifies loss. Memories of earlier days when little ones decorated the snow with polka dots and angels. The snow reminds of us what we had. We have a life now, but it is not as it was; and it makes us sad. We know the drill. The snow will come, and the snow will go. But now the peaks and valley are much smaller. We trudge along day by day forcing ourselves to keep moving. The alternative is to stop and become stagnant. A statue if you will. Watching the world around us go by but being overwhelmed by it. We believe there is a future for us but are fumbling in the dark trying to forge a new path.
But all are grateful for that first snow of winter. All realize its affects are translucent yet still remarkably calming. For a moment we are all the same. We all look great, feel completed, and are optimistic for what will happen when the snow finally melts.
Written by my friend Holly Flowers