Choosing Joy when we Can't Change the Weather

It's still not Spring. 

In the past few years of early Spring I think I've gotten a bit used to the idea of lovely, Springy Aprils. Springs that coaxed the tulips out of the ground in March and had us doing yard work in April. Springs where the consistent heat melted an abundant late-winter dump of snow and guaranteed that our basement would flood by April 10th. 

April 2012. Awwwwwww....
Well. Here we are, April 8, and it was -23 the other morning. It snowed last night - just a little, but it snowed anyway. Of course, this is Alberta, and this does happen here. Usually. How quickly we forget.... how soon we adapt to a new 'norm' and are in turn surprised when things go back to the way they were.

You might not be surprised by this, but I have a bad memory. In fact, many of my memories are re-'mind'ed by photos. I am glad I take so many of them, or I might not remember anything at all. 

So I looked back at photos of this day over the past 7 years, and it looks like this week in 2018 is the nastiest that this week has been. (There WAS snow still this week in 2013, but I don't recall the cold. See what I said about my memory? I'm projecting a warmer cold into the first photo.) 

I have to admit that part of my attitude about the weather was prompted by the tragic Humboldt Broncos crash in Saskatchewan on Friday; a crash that has thus far claimed the lives of 15 and changed the lives of so very many more.  I wish things were different right now. I wish that either I was in a different time, or that something about right now was different - I may be talking about the weather, but this post is truly about me wishing I had the power to change things that are really beyond my control.

April 2013 - there was still snow but I'm SURE it was warmer than now.

April 2014.

April 2015. No snow. Lovely treehouse weather.
April 2016.
This week, April 2017. Picking fresh spinach from the garden.

I rest my case.

Ok, actually, the week after the photo of the spinach we actually got another big dump of snow that kept us stuck at home for a couple of days. But I digress...

THIS week, 2018:

Snowshoeing with the man.

Some of the drifts are still over 4' high. Over our fences. And yet, somehow, the gophers are out.

This exercise didn't make me any less melancholy about the weather, but it also made me very nostalgic for when my kids were little. Oh man, they were cute. I can't believe how stressed out I used to be by the daily grind. I mean, I'm still stressed out by the daily grind, but now it's pretty much all work stuff, not kid stuff. I used to really sweat the details when it came to parenting. 

If I lost it all today, what would I wish I had done differently? Certainly not sweat the small stuff. I would have wished to hold them tighter and praise the small goodnesses that are part of each and every experience.  How could I have done better in this, even today? I can think of a few ways, and it makes me want to wake up tomorrow with fresh resolve.

My thought of the day? 

Live where you are. 

Enjoy the season you're in. 

Hug your kids. Love them, flaws and all. 

Breathe the air, even if it still freezes your lungs. Then, when the air is scorching hot and dry, you can remember appreciating the cool bite of the wintery air while you try to appreciate the heat. 

Try to appreciate the beauty of the moment, because each moment has beauty in it.

Also, if you can: grow things. Create things. Make your today a beautiful thing, no matter what that looks like for you. Find the good, and celebrate it. 

Two more shots - these from March 29, 2015:

Italian-style pizza on a nice, hot Big Green Egg. Pizza recipe? Good idea. Maybe we'll make a batch this week and I can share. 

In all this reminiscing, what am I being reminded of? That no matter what the weather does, my little family is working hard to get this "embracing the plate of life" business well in hand. For that, I'm really thankful.

For those suffering the loss of a loved one, you are in my thoughts and prayers in a focussed way today.