On a bitterly cold morning at the start of the new year, there was an hour that took my breath away.
Ice crystals had formed on every surface.
The sunrise was casting a glow through a thick haze, bouncing the spectrum of the rising sun through millions of delicate shining reflections.
The fences were brilliant and radiant. I was mesmerized.
I couldn’t stop photographing them from different angles.
The changing light, fading in and out, made them all the more magical, showing different characters and moods to the crystal reflections.
It was as if the whole world were crystallized.
My intention of hurrying through chores to get back to the warm house was dissolved in the experience as I lingered for over an hour, holding my face up to the windy sun and feeling gratitude for the morning, the day, the new year.
All around, discoveries of the mundane made me feel alive in the newness. While nothing physical had changed, apart from the ice, my surroundings were different this morning.
Each step of chores became a slower and more conscious action, noting the details and beauty in the things I had come to expect to see every day.
The bird nest that had been in the apple tree since spring was now framed in snow and ice. The very branches of the tree created a spiny fortress of reverence around it.
The water pump held jagged gems on its red metal that dissolved into nothingness as my hand lifted the handle and the warmer water ran through the pipe.
Off in the distance, the sun was rising. But the heavy haze sat low on the ground, obscuring the neighboring farmers, holding me in a veil of private reverence.
As the minutes passed and the sun rose higher, I looked around in all directions, marveling at the modest temple that was my home. The earth itself was glowing, casting spectacular light that was penetrating deeper than my eyes.
It was touching my soul, that space where breath goes in and out in silent worship.
The promise of a new year was alive in a gift from the elements.
What other unexpected treasures would alight in my life? What magic was waiting to be discovered in the routine of my days?
The morning stayed with me, returning in my mind as I sat in meditative silence later that afternoon in my office. As the sun set across the field, the same awe, inspiration and gratitude wiped over me.
How easily it would be to ignore the beauty and rush through life with my head down, braced against the wind and cold. I know because I’ve been there too often.
On this day of magic, at the start of this new year, I was reminded that no matter how cold, or lonely, or scared I feel, there are always unexpected gifts of beauty to renew me.
I have the choice to lift my face up and experience the day at my core, allowing the sun or rain or wind to reach in and fill me with the magic of nature. Even in the windy cold tundra that is sometimes my home, beauty is always within reach.
And sometimes when we least expect it, we are caught breathless in the magic of the moment.
At the start of this new year I feel indomitable hope and excitement! I wish the same for you!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, reflections and hopes for the new year! Please comment below.