{n}ice, {n}ice, very n{ice}...

So, I'm not fooling anyone. I'm writing this rather wintery post months after the fact on a hot, summery day. Looking at these photos might be the cool tonic I'm needing as the mercury rises, but the truth of it is I haven't had the means to be here in this space...and you know how it goes....the longer you put off doing something, the harder it becomes to do it. Inevitably, I am reminded that the only way to start is to. just. simply. start.

This past winter and spring were hard...on many levels...in all the places I've come to call home. There were record breaking temperatures and snow fall levels; a new job, new country, new political climate to adjust to; new health diagnoses and realities for more than a few we hold near and dear to us. It was all a bit shocking, and sent me a bit reeling. But the only way to do hard is to do it...one breath, one moment, one day at a time. You do what you know how to do, until you learn how to do the bits you don't know how to do.

I can't talk about hard without acknowledging the silver linings that come with...because they're almost always there....and because my mum installed it in my DNA to look for them.  This last go around, they came in the form of friends and family who offered a bed to lie on and a roof to call my own when away from home; who didn't ask, or who did ask, the pointed questions; who allowed and encouraged me to just do what I needed to do without apology; who listened graciously and generously; who were plain and simply there for me, without judgement.

Other silver linings came in the form of places to go to lick our wounds...like a toddler's time-out, or the re-fresh button on the keyboard, a change of scenery can sometimes help to re-set things. (As Anne Lamott says, almost everything will work again if you just unplug it for awhile.)  A change of venue gives you a chance to unplug from whatever whirlwind or routine you find yourself in...to take those necessarily required deep breaths, to think with a more focused intention and clarity, to recharge mind, body and spirit, and to perhaps emerge with a new perspective with which to tackle all the hard once again. For one such unplugging, my (hardly a) boy (anymore) and I headed to 'the lake', where we found layers of ice and snow, an enveloping, comforting stillness, and a near ghostly quiet. The lake air and scenery wrapped themselves around us like a heavy duvet, and became a literal silver lining in what was an otherwise very harsh winter. In the lyrical words of Dan Mangan, it was nice, nice, very nice.