December 15, 2012

Reflections In Snow.

View From Our Kitchen
I sit once again in my favorite spot, in our kitchen, looking out onto the bare birch tree, as it stands so very still in the snow. I try to savour the stunning wintry images as much as I can. Despite the fact that the alabaster blanket is several feet deep, a major thaw is on its way, robbing us most likely of all hope for a white Christmas.

I have mixed feelings about snow - driving in it is a true nightmare and the adrenaline rush cutting through my body as the car wheels start sliding uncontrollably is the most terrifying feeling imaginable. Add some evening fog to the mix and I become paralyzed with fear. Night fog is in my opinion the most horrid condition to drive in. Especially thick fog banks that come out of nowhere and force me to slam on the brakes as I suddenly hit a wall of total nothing and visibility of zero.

Views During My Daily Drive
Thus in the past two weeks, following snow storms that made it impossible for me to set out onto my long daily commute, I have been confided to the house for some days here and there. Yet, as the roads cleared and the sun came out, the drive to work turned into an enchanting and visually stunning experience and the views of the snowy landscape touched me almost to tears...
Therefore I will truly miss the snow, as it illuminates the darkest months of the year, creating so much beauty. Almost every morning this past week as I sat behind the wheel, the only though occupying my mind was "I wish I had my camera with me and I wish I could stop and capture all this endless brilliance of nature and winter at its very best..."

With barely a week left to Christmas I wonder where the time is going.
I find myself so out of it and am becoming increasingly disorganized.
I, who used to live by routines and had every week meticulously planned in advance am now living from day to day, where my reality is improvised and spontaneous. My life is a wonderful mess and there is an intensity in it that makes me feel alive.
Carrying boxes with our Christmas ornaments out of our garage the other day, falling knee deep into the pristine snow in the process, the sight of the garage interior made me gasp. So much stuff! And it all has to be sorted out, packed into boxes or disposed off within the next month. It will be a difficult task to do in the midst of a cold winter.
Perhaps the thaw that is coming is after all heaven send.

Our Decorations Detail
Later, when I decorated the house, it struck me that this was the last time I did so here. Next December, I will be decking the halls in our new home. As always, I felt nostalgia grasping my heart - every ending is sentimental and everything that concludes usually comes across as bittersweet, no matter how much we look forward to what is to come.

Sometimes I lie awake late at night, when everything is so very still. My mind starts racing, my thoughts run like wild horses. Facing two mortgages in the future, how will that go?
Being a landlord, I am still connected to my past through the white house on the hill. It is an odd feeling, knowing there is a property out there that belongs to me on paper, yet which I never see, only maintain. Here and there something breaks and I am asked to repair it, which means I make a call and a craftsmen is send to the house. It has been months since I last visited the property that I own. The other day, sending a Christmas card to my tenant, writing my old address yet another name on the envelope, I experienced a truly surreal moment...

Our Entrance
For most of my adult life, I have been alone.
Every problem, every decision, every hurdle - I had to overcome them and solve them on my own. That notion still envelops my being and I still become anxious and apprehensive about the difficulties that the future holds.
Yet as time moves on, I am slowly learning to live in the present, something my husband is greatly proficient at. His smiling face and loving arms reassure me at all times that I am no longer alone.

Taking risks and taking action -  these are what brings us forward, enriching our experiences and our perception. However hard it is for me to accept that the uncertainty of the future is the only certainty there truly is, simultaneously I am realizing that this very fact is the essence of a rich, full life in progress.

View Of Our Backyard
 

23 comments :

LadyCat said...

Your photos are so beautiful! The top one of the white birch and cold snow, with the warm glow of the house behind it is awesome.
So much change and all for the good. Your decrription of a wonderful mess is perfect. I, too was alone for many years and it does take some adjustment, even still. But it is so worth it!
I call it learning to go with the flow. Just relax and enjoy the ride : )
Be safe on the roads out there.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i love snow....driving in it is a challenge....but i so want some snow right now....and smiling as well at your learning and not being alone and the new house coming...its good change...and smiling at the mess too...ha....holidays with a family is just that....have a lovely saturday...

Betsy Brock said...

"my life is a wonderful mess" ...oh, I just love that. It's a wonderful predicament to be in! :) Enjoy your weekend...love that snow...send some here! ha.

Michael Manning said...

Hi Zuzana: I grew up driving on snow and ice. The problem here in Phoenix, Arizona is drivers at dusk and night who drive without their headlights on. I'm not sure what is behind this. xoxo!

A Lady's Life said...

Life is a wonderful mess! I like that.:)
Bad driving conditions are always a problem in winter so you be safe and slow going to work.
Keeping a light in the window and having your husbands arms around you is indeed something to be grateful for and to cherish.God Bless both of you and keep you safe.

Kath said...

" My life is a wonderful mess and there is an intensity in it that makes me feel alive."

It all sounds so exciting!

Hilary said...

A "wonderful mess" is so much nicer to face with someone you love.

The sunlight on the house in that first photo makes for lovely lighting. I'd be tempted to sit out in one of those chairs regardless of the snow.

Lily Bets said...

I do love snowing,my dear friend I wish you a nice nice Christmas,you are in my prayers and heart !

SandyCarlson said...

I am glad you have a loving husband to share the present with you. I hope your Christmas will be gorgeous.

Snowbrush said...

You've mostly been alone, and I've never been alone. I got married at 22 and will have been married 42 years next week.

"I, who used to live by routines and had every week meticulously planned in advance am now living from day to day, where my reality is improvised and spontaneous."

You appear to have gone from being a cat to be a dog in that cats think that a good day is a day that is exactly like every other day, whereas dogs are totally in the moment and ready to boogie at anytime, day or night.

ladyfi said...

Your life sound full and rich and intense. That's what life is all about!

Looking forward to reading all about your new house!

Rajesh said...

Wonderful winter shots. But it sure does restrict once movement.

Mimi said...

Beautiful photos and words Zuzana. I can empathise with your fear around fog, especially that freezing fog. It would be good (I think!) if we could decide each day whether we felt up to the long commute, or preferred to snuggle up for another nap!
So, your last Christmas in this house? Savour each moment, amidst the chaos. My own life is chaotic at the moment too, so I'm delighted to read of someone else in the same boat!
So lovely that you have your lovely husband by your side to share the packing, decisions, and all that surrounds a move.
Enjoy your weekend, dear Zuzana.

Marianne said...

Life is full and busy for you Zuzana, which is as it should be. Lovely evocative photos - a winter-bare birch tree is my favourite tree - magical. Enjoy your last Christmas in your home and look forward to the changes next year is bringing x

Laura said...

"My life is a wonderful mess and there is an intensity in it that makes me feel alive." I connect deeply to this Zuzana, Change is ever unfolding, I'm so happy you have a love in your life so that you no longer have to be responsible for everything on your own... I don't know what I'd do without my beloved.

Rahul Bhatia said...

Lovely words a dn pics, Zuzana! Perfect setting for welcome to Christmas:)

Maggi said...

Beautiful photos and a truly reflective post.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I love snow-- from a distance, preferably near a warm fire with no need to shovel, drive or actually BE in it :-)

Despite knowing this is the last year in your current home with so much to do, you sound so happy and that makes me happy for YOU.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. xo jj

Sia Jane said...

I always say the same about snow...
Yes it is a complete nightmare with regards to the practical things - getting to work and such, but it is also...so still, it reflects the light and winter becomes a wonderland, quite literally, and for me, I love the snow. I love it crunching under my foot steps, and getting lost within it with my camera...
Thank you for such a beautiful post <3

Myrna R. said...

Dear Zuzana, I love the way you write your feelings with such honesty. I sure understand your anxiety about moving. All endings are also new beginnings. It will be okay. All will fall into place, like the snow.

Nice that you're learning to live in the moment. This is a lesson we all can use.

Take good care and thanks for your sincere sharing.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Oh such WISE words Zuzana....and these strike me particularly today, "taking risks and taking action" as I tend to play it safe and that does not always pay off.

Enjoy every moment!

steviewren said...

I always enjoy reading about your life and through your photos seeing what you see. Have a very merry Christmas!

A Plain Observer said...

We had the warmest winter last year since records have been kept so I have not seen the snow you show in your pictures in over a year. I, too, must drive in it and having had a bad accident barely two years ago, I do not look forward to those drives.
You are moving again...is it in the same town at least? All the best.