Ah, the bitter irony of this life. I was to have a full five days to myself while Sami was at his father’s. And what happens? The Snowpocalypse of 2009. All my plans to be a whirling dervish of activity, dashed.

It ended up being all good. I just so happened to have a wonderful house guest in the country from Melbourne, so I wasn’t alone. We connected on many levels, had great talks about all kinds of subjects intense and silly. I learned the term “blobbing” - the Australian equivalent of “vegging” - and did quite a lot of it as the snow fell fast and furious all around. We did much staring out the window in awe and wonder at the blizzard-like conditions, so unusual for my area. As an Australian, this was all particularly unusual for him.

At some point, when all my friends started to post pictures of their children playing on Facebook, and when my ex sent me some picture messages of S having a blast in the snow, I started to feel sorry for myself. I felt the sting of not being able to play with S in the new and fresh snow. So I coaxed my friend into heading out into it ourselves. We ventured out, bundled to the hilt. We frolicked, we trudged through drifts up to our knees, we videotaped each other doing snow angels. I was transported back to my own girlhood as my arms and legs swung through the snow, deepening the angel’s impression.

And somehow, the ache of missing my son subsided a little and I was able to enjoy the house-bound time.

I feel this life is studded with all these little tiny miracles. I have put out the intention to find more ways to enjoy what I love - music, art, community, creativity - substance free. And just by chance, on Friday night we stumbled onto an alcohol-free music and community space and had the opportunity to witness a live performance from one of the best local hip hip acts I have ever experienced. I am so excited about this space: more on it later.

***

This morning I tried to go down my front steps and they were covered with a thin layer of ice. I myself froze, in fear, convinced I would be trapped in my house for the rest of the day. A story arose in my mind: If I had a partner, he would have taken care of this. He would have made sure the steps were salted. But you don’t, and you’re alone…

Then I realized that I have the ability to ask for help. I asked my dear housemate to please pick up some salt or kitty litter, and she very happily did so. The sun, in the meantime, melted the layer of ice and my steps were passable within an hour of the worry arising. Such a great dharma lesson. All things arise and pass away, according to conditions themselves which are in constant flux.

So as with the ice, so can the stories I hold to be solid dissolve in the sun of the dharma, the truth; the sun of sangha, community; the sun of buddha-nature, that part of me who sees the madness and the chaos and is still through it all, present for it all, pure love and wisdom.

The ice always melts, eventually.