Snow in April

Snow in April is different than its winter cousin.
No matter how much it blankets the ground
or blurs our vision in its falling,
it will not last.

The proof is in the green grass
that pokes up through the snow.
And the angle of the sun that swiftly
turns ice to liquid.

Still, some of us wistfully watch the snow swirl
knowing its days are numbered.
While others watch in frustration
having already shifted in their minds
to flowers and grass and bright sunny days.

The thing is, it’s just snow.

Like all things natural and Wild,
it doesn’t attach meaning.
The temperatures are cold enough
that the precipitation is snow rather than rain
as it makes its way from clouds.

We two-leggeds like to attach meaning.
And indeed there is plenty to occupy our hearts and minds
as we look to the natural world
for connection, peace, examples, metaphors
and all the places our big brains take us.

It’s when we turn inward or toward each other
that things can go sideways.
Attaching meaning when none was intended.
Losing our wits when we make a mistake.
We shut down, we lash out, we freeze, we rush.

And during a pandemic, dear ones,
we do this a lot.
Sheltered in place or risking our lives,
it is trauma that whispers to us
the absolutes of never and always
the clutching fear of the unknown
the panic of not having what you need.

What we need around these whispered fears is to breathe deeply
allow our tender hearts to open to compassion
for ourselves, our loved ones, and all beings near and far.

Whether heroic or burrowed under the covers,
know that you will be irked more easily
and you’ll struggle to pay attention.
Time will slip and slide in mysterious ways.
Those you love most will be your salvation
and, at times, a source of great agitation.

The thing is, it’s just trauma.

So we turn back to our big beautiful natural world
whether we are out in it or looking from our windows,
we ground ourselves in the here and now of what is.

Watching shadows sway in the breeze
we look again at the green blades of grass
surrounded by a blanket of white snow,
and remember that what we are experiencing
likewise, will not last.

If we get this right, we’ll come out wiser for the journey.
Gently catching those who collapse from exhaustion.
Holding those who grieve with loss.
And looking deep into each other’s eyes.
Holding one another’s gaze long enough
to see ourselves in the reflection
and understand, finally, that everyone deserves to have what they need.

The snow will melt and the grass thicken,
flowers will bloom and bright blue skies will return.
And… this is new, unmapped terrain.
Terrifying and ripe with possibility.

May we build a path in this new landscape wide enough
for all of us to walk, run, slither, trot, roll, and crawl upon
so that when we tell the story of this time
we mark it as a rebirth, the chance we were given
… and that we took… to right our course.
That we resisted the near overwhelming urge to get back to “normal.”
We held fast to what had been working
and we dared to change what hadn’t.