My wabi-sabi mind is your wabi-sabi mind, too.
In the past week, Mother Nature launched a bomb cyclone upon us in the East Coast. Can you hear the nonchalance as I drop this bomb (no pun intended) into casual conversation? What'd you do over the weekend? Oh you know, the usual... hung out in a bomb cyclone. To weather dorks, it's about weather systems quickly dropping pressure and shifting jet streams and science. To parents of school-aged children in affected areas, it means "snow days." With two kids in the Franklin, MA school system, I am now accustomed to any amount of accumulation and/OR extremely cold temperatures translating to a spontaneous day with the children, at home, which tends to start out with a bit of excitement or at least cozy contentment. As with any storm pattern, things can shift quickly.
As the day(s) wear on, the neighbors might spy me sporting snowshoes and trekking around my house in loopy uneven circles, as I did this past week. This was after I thought that I had the original thought that my husband and I should create a spoof on Will Smith's classic jam and produce "Getting Hygge with it" (sadly, he was quick to reject the idea). When Mother Nature forces us to slow down, we all stumble on the same "original" thought, as the world wide web revealed that "Getting Hygge with it" has already been thought of, executed, probably trademarked, and undoubtedly meme'd many storms over.
Oh, my unoriginal, imperfect mind! It's just likes yours, and yours! I'll have to dip back into the well to produce other original thoughts. (Has anyone done anything with Friluftsliv yet? Or wabi-sabi? That one holds some promise. If you'd like to collaborate, hit me up.)
Growing up in the Midwest outside Chicago, I surely saw as much if not more snow, and we certainly experienced even harsher conditions (Lake effect, anyone?). And yet, I don't recall any snow days. Did we not have them? Unless someone corrects my memory, I'll go with no, we didn't. What was the difference? Were we more rugged? More foolish? Or just more prepared?
When people get snowed in, topics interest us that we may not otherwise grace with much thought. For example, have you wondered what our feathered friends do to survive harsh winter conditions? Birds don't have winter boots, but they have some assets (like, feathers). And, their spindly little legs and feet mean they don't have the same reaction we do when standing on a cold terrain... hey, it's like their legs are a good pair of snowshoes!) but there are also some lessons we can learn (as we often can from observing nature).
For one, birds seek out micro-habitats, little sanctuaries from the harshest conditions (a tree that faces the sun but is shielded from wind). Too, they prepare themselves by plumping up a bit, adding some fat before the change in seasons- yet not so much that they slow down excessively- as if birds were too heavy, it would make them especially vulnerable to predators.
Basically, it's about resourcefulness. Tapping into your resources may require looking around you, assessing your environment and making adaptations to suit what you need in the moment. And it certainly requires looking within you, appreciating that, amidst all the imperfection, you have these innate resources. The beauty in all this is that we can use these skills at ANY time, in ANY condition. Even if our micro-habitat is simply giving ourselves permission to breathe. Mother Nature gives us these opportunities to break from the routine. To pause and assess what would help bring us into balance. This might involve taking a few bird footed, imperfect, wabi-sabi zig zags through the backyard.