When Ice Falls from the Sky in Florida

Snow on unit 012914It is the year it snowed, and the year is yet young–2014 has stuff to strut it seems—already, it impresses. Just the possibility of snow/sleet in Florida is not only newsworthy but requires action.

Whether there will be enough ice from the sky to roll into a snow figure or enough to lie down in to make the wings of an angel are serious considerations.

Snow is an interloper in a subtropical land but the curiosity of experiencing it outweighs its inconvenience.

City thoroughfares and interstates closed, some for over 24 hours, as did I-10 from the Florida border to Georgia and Alabama. Sand is one thing we have plenty of so we spread it about.

I did witness a few flurries that were not bouncing sleet balls of white, although I saw those as well. Decades of Rocky Mountain West wintering renders me a bit of an expert on frozen precipitation. I know my snow.

Whether it was sleet, snow or both, there was ice on trees, rooftops, and even on outside air conditioning/heater units. All are constructed, naturally or otherwise, to withstand hurricane-whipped rain but ice falling from the sky shocks. After all, it has been a quarter of a century since the White Christmas of 1989, and memory does not always serve.

Ice from the sky crossed a boundary because it could or because boundaries are meaningless when it comes to weather. Yet we believe we can predict the temperature and whether or not there will be precipitation.  Whatever we predict, the weather delivers what it has to deliver and moves on.

Watching ice fall from a Florida sky is like watching moments coming into physical existence, not lost in the flurry of a glass, snow orb but one by one, sleet balls bouncing, flakes floating, all completely present and content in their moment of existence, their lives.

Snow on roof 020214

I am reminded of my own moment that is my life. Do I receive each moment as it is given or am I too busy predicting weather that may or may not arrive?  Not opening the gift I am given is a lifelong trait. Perhaps that is why my life span is longer than ice that falls from the sky. I need lots of practice so I have more substance.

The wind cannot shake a mountain.
Neither praise nor blame moves the wise man.
He is like a lake,
Pure and tranquil.
~ Buddha: Dhammapada ~

When I am not the mountain, I am in a winter of discontent, allowing my mind to shake me. Rather than becoming a lake and absorbing all weathers, I am tempest-tossed, neither pure nor tranquil but frozen in flight.

Yet thaw I do, as nature, a force all its own, wends the way it is what with what it has. When I am who I am–unshaken—I am not limited by the weather of the world but open to the weather of its storms.

5 thoughts on “When Ice Falls from the Sky in Florida

  1. This was beautiful, poignant, and wise, K. I love the metaphor of trying to predict weather in our lives. I was doing this yesterday, and like most weather forecasters, I was completely wrong about what really happens. Trying to stay present like a mountain lake. Thank you for the reminder, my friend. {{{hugs}}} kozo-


  2. You’re absolutely right. We have to accept the weather – as we must accept all things. It wastes energy to worry about what we cannot influence – and it is important to not let it influence us in turn. Indeed – as you suggest, what can we individually draw from it?

    Your writing, once again, draws us with inspiration and becomes pure poetry in those last lines. Wonderful – and thank you.

    The science part of me remains intrigued by the topsy-turvy face, of late, that the weather has presented us. Worldwide, I find, through my blogging friends. Some of the first paid work I did involved research into the history of climate change here in New Zealand – over 30 years ago now – and I can’t help thinking that what we face is nothing so simple as ‘global climate warming’ – it’s ‘global weather chaos’ on the back of what – by everyday human standards – amounts to a trivial temperature change. One degree? What’s that? As always the truths won’t dawn on us, as a species, until far too late. While all any of us can do individually is accept it, I can’t help pulling a few deep sighs at the colossal ‘own goal’ humanity has scored on itself.


  3. I came to this post having just checked the weather forecast here (another round of heavy snow predicted for tomorrow and Wednesday) and was fretting over that as I read your words: “Do I receive each moment as it is given or am I too busy predicting weather that may or may not arrive? Not opening the gift I am given is a lifelong trait.” Ah … indeed. What a gift this was to remind me to come back to this moment. Tomorrow’s weather will not be changed by my fretting, but my fretting ensures that I miss out on this moment. Thank you for this very timely reminder!


  4. “When I am who I am–unshaken—I am not limited by the weather of the world but open to the weather of its storms.” Excellent, Karen. (As I weather the latest snowstorm up here in the Northeast).


  5. Beautiful! I will remember this sentence, “The wind cannot shake a mountain” as I begin the week. Thank you, as always, Karen. Outside, snow flurries. Inside, calm.


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