Come mid-February, many of us who live up north are done with winter. We’ve enjoyed the holidays, we’ve had our fill of winter sports, and news of another snow storm is no longer exciting. Unfortunately, despite what the groundhog says, we know we still have several more weeks of winter to endure. Today’s poem by Christopher Wiseman (who, being Canadian, must know a thing or two about winter) reminds us that shifting our attention to the positive can help us make it to spring.
Calgary 2 A.M.
In spite of the fact that it’s twenty below
and winter has gone on for five long months,
in spite of being starved, starved almost to death
for greenness and warmth, flowers and birds,
in spite of the deadness of endless classrooms,
shopping centres, television shows,
in spite of the pains in the gut, the migraines,
the wakings, the palpitations,
in spite of a guilty knowledge of laziness,
of failure to meet some obligations,
in spite of all these things, and more,
I have to report that the moon tonight
is filling the house with a wild blueness,
my children grow, excel, are healthy,
my wife is gentle, there are friends,
and once in a while a poem will come.
In spite of the fact that it’s twenty below,
tonight I smile. Summer bursts inside me.
Practicing gratitude isn’t about dismissing or minimizing the challenges we all have. It’s about taking a moment to focus on what’s working in spite of them. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s challenging and overlook the good things and people in our lives. We all do it.
Gratitude is only an idea until you actually practice it, so let’s do it! In spite of it all, what three things are making you smile this winter? Three things from me are:
- Smartwool socks
- Warm sticky buns from the local bakery
- Watching neighborhood turkeys fly into trees (impossible to witness and not smile!)
Your turn. Let us know what’s making you smile in the comments section below.
“Calagary 2 A.M.” by Christopher Wiseman from In John Updike’s Room, 2005. Copyrighted material used for educational purposes.
Photo art: Janine Kwoh “Things That Aren’t Terrible About Winter” Letterpress card, kwohtations.com.