I think the universe gives us little gifts all the time to help us be where we are.
They look like a lack of progress, a slowing of pace, a void of punctuality.
I think the universe knows that if we were never given these gifts, we would just keep running and running, unconscious to the little things happening around us. And it has to interfere to keep us sane, keep us present.
The other day I went to my car dealer for its regular oil change. That meant sitting in the waiting room for around an hour, but I was prepared. I had a book, a journal, and my phone, of course. But when I sat down, I realized I had left my phone at home. Dreams of browsing Pinterest and Instagram flew out the window. And so I sat, watching the early morning traffic pass by on Broadway through the dealership window.
But then it began to snow! Tiny flakes, swirling around in the February wind. I watched how the wind blew them this way and that, sometimes sparsely, other times like large schools of fish swimming in the sea. And then I took out my journal to write about the things I was seeing. I took out my latest read, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, and read about the wonderful things you notice when you don’t observe the world from cars and planes, when you’re actually a part of it all.
And I realized I never would have seen and felt these beautiful, magical things that morning if I would have remembered my phone. Yes, I was holding all the same cards. But I would have still reached for my phone, distracted myself with it, just because it was there and for no other reason, really. What first appeared to be an inconvenience was the gift of added beauty and opportune mindfulness to begin my day and finish my week. And then I get the pleasure of being filled with gratitude for these hidden blessings.
Today, all of Nashville is snowed and iced in. People who normally work 9-5 jobs are at home with their kids. And we all get to surrender to the weather and just slow down for a day. There’s no use resisting what’s already happened. We might as well surrender to these moments and be thankful for the chance to just sit and breathe and watch the snowflakes fall.