Melting Snow, Awakening Heart

Have you ever been out for a walk on one of those days right after snow starts melting? The air has this wet soil, hard-edged, crusty-snow, grassy kind of smell, mixing with that twinge of warm air from sunshine and steam wisping off the ground.

Although I hate those dreary, dark days when it only spits snow, because you’re all like “seriously do something already...!” and you shake your fist at the clouds, those days after a good storm, when the sun’s out and you walk around and get that smell right up in your head, swirling around like aromatherapy, those are the days when you make discoveries about yourself. At least for me, that’s what’s happened.

A few revolutions of the sun ago—I get sick of using the boring word “days” all the time, don’t you wish English had more words sometimes?—I had this kind of serendipitous discovery. Okay, I suppose most discoveries worth anything are mostly serendipitous, but the point here is that the melting snow, and the smell of the ground took me back, and I had this wash of emotion come over me.

Now, usually when this happens, I think we probably tend to ignore whatever our heart is trying to tell us, whatever connections it’s trying to offer up for our perusal. That’s
because I’m pretty sure as a culture we are used to skimming by, shutting the door on our hearts and moving forward toward nosier surroundings. But if we stop and let our hearts speak to us, sometimes we’ll make discoveries worth keeping.

What that melting snow told me, reminded me, the other day on a walk with my dog, was that before I’d gotten jaded by life, by too many cuts and scrapes, by the deprivation of things I needed as a kid, was that I needed to remember the time when I was young, when the outdoors represented a kind of openness to life and an excitement about life that you can’t just put your finger on, but moves you forward with a twinkle in your eye. So it’s true what a wise man once said, that you should be careful with your heart because it’s the wellspring of life.