After the previous two winters being particularly nasty, with record amounts of snow and record cold temperatures, there was an intensified feeling of dread over this area of Michigan about the snow that arrived last night and is continuing through today. The pall of dread was so intense that it had engendered an attitude of hurry and panic while preparing for travel to work this morning, and of course in my frenzied hurry I neglect to take all the necessary items. Even though the situation was resolved without serious repercussions, I rightfully felt very foolish. The frenzy had been building over the last few weeks as the weather turned slowly but surely colder, and I let the hype get to me. The irony is that every time I actually experienced the presence of the snow, whether seeing its white glow through the shades or watching it collect on bundles of pine needles outside, I felt a calm, cool sense of relief. It was like everything around me expelled a long-held breath and was finally able to relax under the quieting blanket of snow. The anticipation of the snow’s arrival was completely at odds with the actual experience of it, and I think there is a lesson there for me about being present in the moment, seeing something for what it really is, and not letting outside influence detract from my experience of beauty in the here and now.