I really struggle this time of year. The post holiday crash is potent because of the knowledge that the hardest part of winter is still ahead. The dark and cold and the general inaccessibility of the outdoors often trigger anxiety in me, not to mention depression. My job requires me to be outdoors all year round, regardless of the weather so even though I am used to it, when the temps drop below zero, I'm dragging myself out the door by my boot straps lamenting and mourning those golden summer days.
|I had icicles on my eyeballs the day it went fifteen below zero (Fahrenheit) this past week|
Between the necessity of getting through the day without frostbite and or misery for me and my kids (though the school has recess in the gym when it's this cold) I often forget to lift up my head and find the beauty that can be found in this dark and solemn season.
That is why I have Leo.
Leo's new favorite word is beautiful.
And he knows how to use it. He knows exactly what it means, it's not just random sounds that can be applied to anything, anytime...
He brings it out with the same flair as a flag, a traffic sign, a prayer, a call to arms...
His bright little face turned up to the sky, the window, the candlelight: he raises his arms and announces to all that "it's beautiful!"
Driving him to school the other day on the road that briefly follows a mountain creek that was, because of a snow storm during the night, frosted over and sparkling like a diamond as the pink early morning sun played over it. At his joyful cry I looked up from the road, and from my morning list making mental gymnastics, and for a moment it was as if time stopped. Frozen indeed. Leo was surrounded by the dancing sparkles reflected, and I felt the world slow as if to savor this moment; this moment of suspension of everything except for the miracle of the simple and incredible beauty of light dancing rainbows over his up turned hands, face and the whole world outside our speeding and yet motionless little car.
I'll never forget it.
And as the winter presses me close, all I need to look at my little lion's face, hear his ringing voice cutting through all the dark like a laser beam: a simple word, but the way he wields it, it becomes as profound as life itself and as powerful as ancient glaciers.
Who could have thought that the boy who when he entered this life was deemed far from beautiful by our cultural definition of the word, knows with his whole being when true beauty is around, and how to glorify in it.
Don't forget to notice the unlikely beauty, because when you do, you'll never forget it.
BTW, I'm still waiting for your movie clips...just a friendly reminder to send 'em to me so we can finally get this project off the ground...