The streamline of thought inside my car is no different to the streamline of thought I encounter when walking or traveling. I find myself inspired every time I’m driving my car, probably because driving marks a journey between here and there as I physically remain still. Everyone driving is marked by a journey, getting from one place to another, a destination always in mind.
I used to ride busses between Concord, Boston, and back on a periodic basis. Every time the bus would pull out of South Station, I’d find myself looking at the little windows in tall buildings and wonder if the people sitting inside the window light were still working or on their way out. I’d think about little homes and how every single home tells a different story, none like the one right next to it.
The bright headlights of oncoming cars nearly blind me, but the reds, yellows, and greens of lights and whites on concrete remind me of countless moments I’d spend walking alone in college. Along the beach, around campus, around Boston, creating a storyline where I was known and understood in my mind, but never opening my heart to the reality of it, the assurance of what it means to truly live from that place.
Every year, the trees have a beautiful way of showing us how beautiful it is to let go and it’s one of my favorite things about living in New England. As trees come ablaze and leaves begin to swirl with the natural wind and current of season, I am reminded of countless memories – change in my own life – where I have been encouraged to let go, uproot what is and what has been. Reminding me of where I’m going.
I thrive on the business of change, but permanence is what my heart longs for. I believe that consistency is really what all hearts long for despite how different we may all seem. I have lived as a nomad, and it was great, but consistently building, constantly uprooting, always moving… While inspiring for the artistic being in my spirit, eventually just felt like an unhealthy pattern rather than a help. I will still find myself becoming jealous of those who live nomadically, but I also feel the deep cry of my heart to take root and remain still like a tree.
Do trees know when they are ready to let go or is it a seasonal battle cry for the world to see and know that letting go is good? To take heed and go forth.
Sylvia Plath writes in her Unabridged Journals: “this is my first snow at smith. It is like any other snow, but from a different window, and there lies the singular charm of it. Downstairs, someone just exclaimed ‘oh! look at it!” but I have been looking at it for quite sometime now… Yes, it is like any snow, in any year…. I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person.”
Sometime in December 2016, I had just come home from work late at night and the first snowfall made its appearance in the atmosphere like a child being born. After a year and a half of no snow, it was a miracle to step outside my car and feel the crunch of heavy snow beneath my feet. As I walked with my head hunched, I was simultaneously mesmerized by the trees beginning to fill with white fluffy snow and the calm and silence of nightfall pooled by a single townhouse orange light. It reminded me of how peaceful snow can be before the chaos of morning.
I had forgotten.
I think that’s what happens a lot of the time, we get mesmerized by the glamour of new things or new adventures, and forget the beauty in the steadiness of everyday moments that only nature can show us… What it really means to be beautiful and still. Like Plath says, maybe all it takes is a new perspective to make something seemingly old, new again.
The steadiness doesn’t change, the perspective does.
The more we look at things, the more beautiful they become over time. In the same way, the deeper we get to know a person, the more beautiful they become if we accept them and love them deeply exactly where they are. It really doesn’t take much to be beautiful and it doesn’t take much to look at someone and believe they are, too.
I think snow is white to make up for the amount of darkness that comes with turning the clocks back. If we can find it within ourselves to look for the brightness within the dark, we will begin to see what Plath is talking about; how little, menial things, have the capacity to mean so much.
I think that loving someone might be highlighted by the same kind of idea, and I’m looking forward to the day I will experience what it’s like to look through the same window for years and years and still choose the same view every day from a new perspective of longing, trust, and knowing what is good.