Snow and silence

Photo: Isabella Kiker
Happy New Year dear reader! I wish you much health, balance, and satisfaction in 2012!

For those of you wondering what it's been like in the Alps, well, it's been snowing. Starting on the 19th of December, the white crystals began falling and they have continued doing so since. This amount of snowfall reminds me of childhood winters in the 70’s and 80’s, when I used to come visit my grandparents. In those days, chalet roofs were adorned with icicles and covered in thick white puffy layers; creeks and streams were hidden, their icy clear waters gurgling under open patches; and streets and paths were all white, their existence carved out of the landscape like mazes in snowy fields. How the snow crunched under foot! Ah! So great, a real winter again!

The best thing about a snowy landscape is the silence. The sound of cars, trains, and people are dampened, their noise disappearing into nothingness. (This phenomenon, by the way dear reader, can be very dangerous when crossing a train track. One has trouble hearing the train coming.)

A snowy landscape is wonderful for getting into the moment and for releasing worry and fear. I don't know about you, but when I succumb to worry, I am unable to get things done. I get stuck in the "what if" and "should haves." With a snowy landscape one doesn't need to shut out noise. The landscape does it all for us. When in silence, I am more receptive to my thoughts, feelings, and I am able to work my way through difficult times. Focusing on a snowy landscape helps me focus on today. Today is all I have to work with, anyway.
The past has flown away. 
The coming month and year do not exist. 
Ours only is the present's tiny point.
 -Mahmud Shabistari

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