Isn’t there something about our climate here in West Michigan, its extremes and intemperance, that makes it harder to live fully in the now? Aren’t we always waiting for a thaw or a storm, watching the sky for signs of rain, or a break in the heat, or a perfect beach day, or the brief spectacle of the leaves turning?
And isn’t there something about the persistence of memory, our unique paths, our most secret struggles, our regrets, our wounds from another time that makes it hard to stay grounded in the present moment and not journey back?
And isn’t there something about the January requisite to plan and organize, to clean out drawers, to budget and keep up with old and new bills, to catalogue the main events of the coming year—birthdays, holidays, surgeries, pregnancies, taxes, visitors, travel, loved ones who may need us—that makes it hard to feel that our most crucial appointment is with the present moment?
January, month of dichotomies—month of both rebirth and hibernation, both stillness and projection, both reclamation of the inner life and commitment to others, both treacherous highways and joyful sledding hills. The hardness of ice and the softness of new snow.