Posts Tagged ‘Snow’

We had more snow in Port Townsend yesterday–four to six inches, drifting to 18 inches.

This let me re-experience another childhood memory: snow over the top of the boots and into the socks!

Our neghborhood

I took lots of photos of our neighborhood so everyone can show off their snowy house to their friends.  With complete overcast, the lighting was not as magical as it was on the photos I took last week.  The complete gallery is here.

The roads were extremely slippery.  I was standing on the road and suddenly found myself sliding down hill!  I’ll be driving later today and may put on chains to be sure I can get back up the hill.

Inside Cappy's Trails

I walked through Cappy’s Trails.  It was a lovely walk surrounded by snow-covered trees.  The snow photos are in this gallery.

Last week I saw only tracks of a cross-country skier.  On this walk, I saw several pairs of skiers.  Finally, personal experience of this rare sight!  Staying in Port Townsend all winter (which is barely begun) is giving me the experience of a true winter again.

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If you look at a hurricane from space,  you see a well-organized, beautiful object.  If you are in the middle of one, the experience is brutal and deadly.

Expectations can be the same way.

I’ve spent the day struggling with being attached to expectations, and it has been like being in the middle of a storm.   I’ve felt battered and shaken from one side to the other by unexpected changes.

It started last night when the weather report predicted four to six inches of snow.  I looked forward to a nice walk in deeper snow.  I woke this morning to find almost no new snow.

Then the dentist called and offered me an appointment today (for a crown preparation) instead of tomorrow.  That sounded great, so we hurried to get ready.  By the time we were ready to leave a half hour later, it was snowing steadily.  A round trip of more than 80 miles in uncertain weather and road conditions seemed imprudent, so I rescheduled that appointment.

The snow Sunday was cold, fine snow that blew off the trees in mists of snowflakes.  Today’s snow was heavy and wet, falling off trees with a thump like a wet rag.  I did get out for a walk in the afternoon.  Instead of the bracing cold, dry weather of Sunday, wet snow was falling and almost immediately melting and soaking my coat.  Instead of sun breaks lighting up the snowy landscape, the clouds were dark and heavy.

I needed windshield wipers for my glasses with this snow!  My winter coat will need a day to dry out.  With greater caution needed for more slippery conditions, the walk wasn’t as easy as a few days ago.

I spent the day struggling with attachments to expectations.  It was hard slogging.  Meditating several times helped.  It was not until late evening that I began to feel lighter.

When I’m not feeling attached, I can go through the day like this with a “Wow! Look at what is happening now!” attitude.  It’s like looking at a hurricane from space–you can see the destructive forces as a thing of beauty.  I’ve reached the point where I can take mostly that view of my attachments to expectations today.

Which doesn’t mean the attachments and suffering won’t happen all over again tomorrow!

Several teachers have given talks on expectations.  Berget Jelane has a talk on expectations at the Insight Meditation Center that I found helpful.  Click  here to listen to that talk.

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Snow Buddha

Snowy Buddha

Snowy Buddha

May all beings be
free from animosity,
free from oppression,
free from trouble,
and may they look after
themselves with ease!

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I Get My Wish!

We woke up this morning to find snow!  We see snow in Port Townsend perhaps once or twice a year.  Mostly it seems to have snowed while we were out of town.  This time we were here to see it!

Snowy day in Port Townsend

Snowy day in Port Townsend

True, there’s not a lot of snow.  The accumulation was  between one and two inches, drifting to four to six inches on our deck.  It’s been more than forty years since I’ve lived where I could expect significant snowfall, so any snow gives me a feeling of freshness and peace.

I got to take a walk in the snow—a childhood experience in Illinois that I’ve missed for a long time.  I see a totally different world when walking in the fresh snow.  There are tracks everywhere, each telling a different story.

When I first left the house, the only tracks in the road were footprints.  As I walked further, I saw more.

Here I see where a couple has walked to the mailbox to pick up their newspaper.  There I see where someone has walked their dog, with side trips to the edge of the road for doggy business.  Another person had taken their trash out for collection the next day.  Three kids build a snowman in their yard.

Some tracks were more difficult to interpret.  One set to the bluff and back looked like a tricycle.  I saw the same tracks later and now suspect it was a tricycle baby carriage.

I got a good look at my own footprints.  That was interesting because this was also my first walk with the new orthotics that I received yesterday.  Teresa tells me it has improved the way I walk.  They sure feel bumpy when I put my shoes on.  I get used to them quickly and find them comfortable enough to walk in.  It will take a while to see whether they make a difference to ankle and back pain problems.

The last set of tracks was a real puzzlement.  At first I could not figure out what made two narrow, parallel tracks.  As I walked up the hill I finally realized they were cross-country ski tracks.  Seeing where the wearer had sidestepped up the top of the hill confirmed that.  I have never seen cross-country skies in use in this area—we just don’t get that much snow.

For more photos I took on my walk, click here.

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Teresa and I drove to Sequim this morning.  Near Blyn we saw fields of grass glinting with a white covering of frost.  The frost reminded me of the crisp fall and winter mornings when I was growing up in Illinois.  I always loved walking in the snow in the woods—everything was so quiet and peaceful.  I felt my worries drop away from me.

Not much snow here!  It probably snows enough for a few inches of accumulation less than once a year here.  Each time it’s happened, we’ve been out of town on a winter vacation.  Maybe this year will be different?

We went to Sequim so that Teresa could be fitted for a new set of orthotics.  I have had intermittent problems with shooting pains in my ankles for several years.  Inserts customized by my now-retired podiatrist solved that.  This year I’ve also experienced some low back pain and minor knee problems.  On a day to day basis, I hardly notice it, but every few months it’s enough that I see the chiropractor.  Since these problems may all be related, I decided to be fitted for orthotics too, replacing my worn inserts.  I’ll get them in two weeks but it may be several months before I know for sure whether they alleviate these pains.

With respect to pain, mindfulness means an objective awareness of sensation and not getting caught up in it.  It means not letting the mind run amok with fear of all the possible consequences of the pain—from “I’ll never walk again” to “I’ll die tomorrow.”  Neither does it mean denying or ignoring the pain.  Both getting caught up in and denying the pain results in suffering needlessly.  The Middle Road would be to take action when appropriate.

The trick is to find that middle road!


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