Weather and Wanting

A few weeks ago, my husband Andy and I treated ourselves to a weekend getaway at one of our favorite spots in the Sierras, near Carson Pass.

On our last day, we strapped snowshoes to our backs, clipped cross-country skis to our toes, and headed out for an adventure. Even at almost 9,000 feet above sea level, we were warm in the sun with only one thin layer. Powdery snow left over from a recent storm made for smooth skiing.

We headed north, climbed over a saddle in the mountains, and dropped down into Meiss Meadow. For most of the day, it was just the two of us surrounded by jagged mountains laced with snow-frosted trees. Never having gone this way before, we followed someone else’s tracks and reached the place where they ended some four miles in, partway through the largest flat expanse we’d met that day. Then, we felt really alone in the wild. Trackless glittering snow reached out far to the base of the mountains all around us. We broke new trail and spoke seldom, not wanting to disturb the reverent hush of this world we’d entered. On our way back, the sun sank, covering the meadow and mountain slopes in shadow. Cornices at the ridge crests lit up and glowed, those waves of blown snow frozen in time by frigid winds. Nature’s ice sculptures.

It was the sort of day that proves that the magic I imagine actually does exist in the outside world. And we got to revel in it.

On a previous visit to Carson Pass, Andy and I had tried to make a similar trek in a raging storm. Optimistic, we strapped on snowshoes anyway. But we didn’t make it a mile from our car before we turned back, miserable with the wind blowing sideways, blasting our faces with snow, freezing our toes and fingertips. I could barely see Andy in front of me through the flurry. Unsheltered on the edge of a mountain was no place to be in that weather.

These experiences remind me of something simple yet so easy to lose sight of: when we want to create something in our lives, we have to work with the weather. We often feel so much pressure to change things now. We want our partner or friends to respond to us in a certain way. Or we want the right partner to enter our lives. We want to be rid of a disease. We want our bodies to look a certain way. We want to reach a milestone with our work. Now.

All these desires may be quite worthy.  But now may not be their time. Rather than pushing away whatever reality we currently live in, can we ask to see the gifts where we are now? What is this job or disease or relationship teaching me now? What do I truly want? What step can I take today to move towards that?

Everything we live with is a sort of landscape, including our own beings. And every landscape has weather patterns. What is today’s weather offering you?

Andy and I wanted to explore around Carson Pass for a long time. The storm blocked us from reaching the vistas we dreamed of, but we kept visiting that place. We kept feeling our desire and moving toward it. Eventually, time and space opened up for us to experience a day of comfortable, pure, sunshiny magic. And, I must say, walking in the storm helped us to know those mountains in a way we would not otherwise, to appreciate the fierceness that accompanies their striking, clear beauty.

This month, may you have grace for yourself and the landscapes around you as you dance with the weather towards what you desire.