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Within moments of taking this photo on Sunday morning, the view changed entirely. The sun appeared from behind the house and began touching the tops of the trees, and I sat gazing out the window, watching the clouds part and the chunks of fresh snow fall helplessly to the ground. By the time we left the house for a visit to Gorham, nearly every trace of Saturday’s snowfall was gone.

On our daily walks around the loop, we’ve noticed the bigger frost heaves on the paved road starting to smooth out one day, and then seize up the next as the temperatures swing wildly within each 24 hour period of early spring.

I have been enjoying the whole mess of it, and noticing the parallels in my own experience. The shine from our recent seven days on retreat seems at times to have faded entirely – and then other times, the gem of that beautiful experience is polished anew by a single moment of awareness of the simplest things, like: the first step in moving from one room into another; tension in the shoulders suddenly releasing upon noticing it; the memory of a dear friend who died three years ago; a pair of goldfinches at the bird feeder; a fragment of a song looping through the mind; pondering a to-do list and a plan for later in the week; the sound of delight in a friend’s voice on the phone; the sounds and sensations of warm running water at the kitchen sink; wondering what to blog about; looking at the above photo and remembering how quickly it all changed.

Each thing that happens, no matter how small or significant, arises, and is known, and then passes. Each one of these occurrences is a chance to thaw the frozen heart and mind, to shine up the gem in each of us, the one that sparkles with the wisdom that is always available in every moment. All we have to do is look, and notice what’s here.

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