I woke this morning to a muffled, dim room. Snow blanketed the skylight, and the sun was merely a rising brightness in the eastern sky. Everything was grayed further by a cloud of snow that blew in spirals and starbursts against the windows. I dragged myself onto the treadmill, resigned once again to a cold wintry day, and feeling sullen about the weather. Trudging along I wished spring would finally come, bringing consistent sun and gardening opportunities. I may have been a little bitter that my beans had frozen overnight.
While I paced, however, I remembered a weekend morning not long ago. I had (as usual) overbooked myself, and woke up already desperately behind. So when my little one padded into my room at dawn and peered over the edge of the bed asking "Mama, you 'wake?", I got up, dressed, and the two of us snuck out while Sam and Dad slept on. I intended to make a quick run to the grocery store, then blaze through several other errands before breakfast. But when we hastily stepped off the porch, the sweetness of the new morning slowed each step until I stopped at the end of the walk, holding my child, and savored the first taste of spring. Rain had softened the grass and released a fresh earth smell that had hibernated until that morning under brown grass and patches of snow. The sun was gentle, still leaving traces of pink and orange along the eastern horizon, and some robins -- the first harbingers of spring -- were diligently trotting across the lawn, pausing only to glance our way before listening again to the wakening worms. And above it all came a glorious chorus of birdsong from every tree in the neighborhood. No church has ever felt so holy.
I didn't stop long that morning -- I had work to do -- but I did take the time to appreciate a moment of grace. And this morning, as my heart began beating faster and I lumbered along, I remembered to stop anticipating the next task and appointment and phone call, but instead to take a deep breath and live now, even if there is snow on the ground and I'm going to have to replant my beans.