Early morning winter light in soft hues of slate gray and hints of blue illuminates the stoic darkness of the pines and highlights the contrasting whiteness of the delicate birches out my window. Large, lacy snowflakes flit past, tumbling in clusters to the frozen ground. They are in no particular hurry, settling on branches and fence posts and rooftops alike. There is no wind, and all is absolutely quiet and still.
I could be bolting into the day, furiously brushing teeth, snarfing food and pelting out the door to the long list of obligations, but instead I take this moment to watch the trees and the swirling dance of the snow, reminding me that nature offers peace and grace, even in these turgid times. Our society sadly rewards that dogged, work-and-commitment-packed lifestyle that creates a frenzied, harried, over-stressed and under-slept lifestyle, worn as a badge of honor.