Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hoping for Zen

I have something to write about other than the snow. Yes, you guessed it,  it's the aftermath of the snow! I had lots of post started over the last week, but they were all some variant of, "Today, because of the snow, we stayed in and did nothing." But, on this Wednesday, we turn the corner. Right now, my house is empty. It's a little strange.

I like this quote from a Japanese priest named Shunryu Suzuki:

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”

Today should be a Zen kind of day because finally, after 13 days of the routine being interrupted or just thrown out the window, the snow situation has relented enough to allow the kids to return to school and thus, to a semblance of the familiar patterns of life. It will take concentration for sure, because we succumbed wholeheartedly to the spirit of winter hibernation. We stayed indoors most of time, slowed down, gained weight and slept a lot.  Unlike most hibernating animals, we did do a lot of reading, of watching movies and tv, and playing of games. On the whole, it was a pleasant, quiet time punctuated by occasional outbursts of normal sibling rivalry, just so I'd know everyone was still alive.  I ran and exercised quite a bit, in spite of the uncooperative conditions, but I ate enough and lowered my basal metabolic rate enough to completely offset my efforts and still gained weight. Oh well, that's what springtime is for.

I did take the kids sledding yesterday to celebrate the last day of the break and we had a great time.  I got a nice accidental head-butt to the cheekbone from Evan as we tandem-rode over a big bump and actually caught some air, but so far it is not bruising too badly. If it does and you see me with a big shiner, you'll be reminded that being 43 is no reason to give up on playing in the snow.

The school system also waived the rules and allowed a regional wrestling tournament to take place last night. Sam won both his matches and continues his excellent record for this season. Last night he pinned one of his opponents in 44 seconds. He goes into the post season with only three losses.

And so we move on, gingerly navigating around in the mountain range of giant snow piles on every corner and learning a new set of manners as we pull over to let our neighbors drive through the one-lane roads. The snow is softer now, and the icicles are dripping and breaking, but it really is kind of nice to have a true winter landscape for a while. We'll always remember the Blizzards of 2010.


  1. Oh, that zen quote is something I needed to hear today, as I was having (am having!) difficulty accepting the return to the regular routine. :)

    Glad that you guys got one last hurrah in the snow before heading back to school today. As long as I have snowpants that fit me, I'll be out there sledding with the kids, regardless of my age, too. :)

  2. What a couple of weeks eh? That is crazy. So glad to hear that life is headed back to normal. :-)

  3. Glad that things are starting to thaw out for you! What a crazy couple of weeks you have had!

  4. We missed out! Looks like fun.

  5. Alas, I have no snow to blame my weight gain on. Only a holiday on a Sunday, which therefore had to last 4 days. One that involves chocolates.

    I wish I could hibernate just a little--even just to get back to Zen, like you. :)


Thank you for sharing your insights!