Reflections on the first snowfall of the year

Reflections on the first snowfall of the year
Snowfall at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill. (Photo by Christine LaFave Grace)

I woke up this Sunday morning to the first snowfall of the year. And while I usually am the grumpiest of grumps when it comes to snowfall, for some reason I thought it was quite nice this time. I settled myself on the couch in the living room and looked out the window at the scene for quite a bit after getting out of bed.

Perhaps it was because I didn’t need to drive to work this morning.

Perhaps it was because it was a welcome distraction from getting started on chores.

Or perhaps I just felt like enjoying the simple peace of the scene. Everything is still right after the first snowfall on empty earth. Everything is calm. I sat on the couch quietly and reflected.

I have much to be sad about with the start of 2015. My wife and I our lost our baby son, Nathan, in August. I have chronic kidney disease, the chronic standing for “you’re not getting rid of me anytime soon, buddy.” While I am very happy with my current job, a small part of me wonders whether I hit my career peak at age 26. I’m now 33.

But looking out at the snow, I know that while I am sad at times, I am not sad in whole. I am looking forward to 2015. I am looking forward to adventures with my wife. I am looking forward to new experiences. I am looking forward to what this world has to offer. The first snowfall for me has always represented a fresh start, and I want to treat every new day as a fresh start, a chance to fully enjoy all the wonderful things that life has to offer and to continue to lean on my family and friends when life presents things that are not quite as sweet.

Eventually, I will need to shovel the walk.

Eventually, I will need to drive through wintry conditions to work.

Eventually, the snow will pile up and turn gray, waiting for the first spring rain to wash it away.

But the memory of the initial snowfall will remain etched in my memory throughout the winter – giving me peace, giving me perspective – until the first flowers of the year begin to bloom.

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