I woke this morning to the loud crashing of ice falling. Falling all around us, trees breaking under the pregnant, wet weight of inches of ice. As we exit the "worst ice storm in 50 yrs", my thoughts are ruminating on ice. Growing up in the South, ice was a fairly common weather event, but what we are looking at here is certainly different! Ironically, where I used to live in Austin, TX and where I live now are both the same temperate zones - zone 8b. And both of these beautiful places are blanketed in ice and snow; NOT what is supposed to happen in zone 8b.
In the South, there is a farming technique of proactively coating your plants with water, then ice in an attempt to protect them. There is science behind this - namely - the state transition of water to ice, actually releases heat. And then the ice provides insulation against the colder air temps. However, it is not effective protection against DAYS of below freezing temps. Only time will tell which of our precious 8b plants make it this time.
My thoughts however are ruminating on ice coating as a metaphor - What is something in your life potentially harmful in longevity, while providing protection and aid through a treacherous period? As context, this has been a dark winter for me; the first without my partner of 23 yrs. I'm wondering what has been my ice. What are patterns, behaviors that are serving me now, but for the long term may not be healthy? I think about work - Work has been demanding and I've applied my whole self to challenges faced. As an example, last night I DREAMED of designing a framework/rubric for measuring engagement, evangelism, and participation - all night long.
I think about caring for the kids - Partly out of a desire to make this time healthy and wholesome for them despite Covid, despite losing their dad as part of their daily lives, I've totally been over functioning in that space. A bit Martha Stewart meets Dr. Bowbly. And while I tell myself, this is for the kids, providing for their stable, loving development; I have to acknowledge this serves me as well. A welcome distraction that can absorb as much energy as I can give it.
However, I can also feel the ice breaking. Letting go of these protective behaviors serve their purpose, and assume their natural role. Who am I being called to in this next chapter? A chapter not of my choosing, but my next chapter all the same. So it brings me back to waking, waking to the breaking. I'll leave you with this question and a poem - what ice has been serving you? are you ready to let it break, fall and melt?
by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky
In the morning
When I began to wake
It happened again -
That You, Beloved,
Had stood over me all night
That as soon as I began to stir
You put Your lips on my forehead
And lit a Holy Lamp
Inside my heart.