You may know we were just blasted up here in Tahoe/Truckee with the snowiest December in 50 years …
These storms are magic. To be covered in some 18 feet of snow is a matchless experience. There’s a sincere joy in being inside a veritable snow globe, watching flakes float down to earth and trees sway from powerful gusts. There are delicious moments of wheeeee playing in the snow, be it building snow sculptures, gliding across meadows, or flying downhill. There’s also a sense of relief in welcoming precious water that helps to quench a multi-year drought.
But the storms too are a lot of work. Power outages, endless snow removal, road closures — oh my. And then there’s the fallout from surviving the storms, personal and public project setbacks and damage to infrastructure that can take weeks or months to set right. The 5-foot-tall dog fence at my house was rendered useless by the deep snow and my beloved 4Runner of 20 years was totaled. I know all of us have similar tales from the past month.
Positioned within the swirling flakes and icy winds, the people of our region are still hounded by the woes of the outside world: Our third year of the pandemic welcomes uncertainty once again, while debilitating concerns like the housing crisis and the connected lack of local employees persist. A few Moonshine Ink staff members have had major personal upheavals, made more draining by it all happening during the storms, and many of our contributors are battling sickness, likely brought on by the exhaustion from shoveling.
All summing up to say, “holy moly.”
This wild ride is something we can learn from: Winter, and by relation, these storms, are mother nature saying, “Hey now, you’re gonna have to slow down.” When getting out the door means facing the physical and psychological task of an hour and a half’s worth of shoveling, our best tool is a little perspective and a few deep breaths. Winter’s long nights encourage rest and when the power’s out or the streets are buried, the fevered pace of life slows down by necessity. Several fellow residents I’ve spoken with said that while it wasn’t the normal holiday season, there was something quite nice about just hunkering down at home.
Stress is a major indicator of poor health outcomes, and it also makes us unpleasant to be around. The world seems to be moving at an ever-increasing rate of speed — isn’t it wonderful to be forced to slow down sometimes and de-stress? Well, when the snow gods rage, you don’t have a choice.
The pandemic, for all the heartbreaking damage it has wreaked, carries this same message. Over the past two years, people have stayed home more, delving into handcrafted food and projects, finding time for introspection, and getting to know better each other, as well as ourselves.
Rest is as important as doing.
So, while you’re executing your resolutions for the year and winding up for a fabulous new year — we all need a pick-me-up, that’s for sure and certain — remember to factor in time and space for the un-winding as well.