Last week I gave myself a Snow Day. Granted, it was actually snowing--steadily, quietly all day--but going to both morning and afternoon activities would not have been a problem. However, the pull of an unscheduled day in my office was much stronger than attending the discussion about a book I only moderately enjoyed. And as much as I love the weekly writing group, I felt a more urgent tug to sit at my own desk. So I stayed home. Specifically, I stayed in my lower level office where I had recently "dressed" my harvest table desk with some of my vintage tablecloths and spread out writing tools and bits and pieces to inspire and invite me into reflection. Although this desk doesn't have the view I had from my office in our 1802 farmhouse, I love the feeling of being tucked under the house. On a snowy winter day I imagine myself in an igloo, a cave, an underground chamber. My own secret place.
I spent the day writing a book review for a volunteer newsletter, researching potential publishers for my collection of essays about grief and loss, jotting thoughts for the book's introduction, and brainstorming ideas for a new book about transitions and spiritual ways of living those changes. A productive and creative day. I mused on how much I could accomplish if I had more Snow Days. If I allowed myself more days like this one. If I protected more days to use in this way.
We have now lived here in Madison for a little over two years. During this time my priority has been to settle in, to find my loop of life, to create a life, a home, here. To do that I have explored and been open to a variety of opportunities. I've stretched my naturally introverted personality in order to meet people and find meaningful and stimulating activities. I am happy there are places where people know my name and greet me warmly. No small feat, when you move at this stage of your life.
During my Snow Day, however, I felt new ideas bubbling up in me. I churned with bouncing thoughts. I felt an eagerness swirling within me. As the snow twirled and whirled outside my windows, I heard inner murmurs, breathy urgings, "Stay here. Be here. Write here." A book I am reading about creating a spiritual retirement keeps repeating the refrain, "Now is the time...." Perhaps it is.
At this point the Snow Day became the Sorting Day, for my dance card is quite full, thank you very much. Louise deSalvo in Writing as a Way of Healing says, "To make time to write, we often have to choose to stop doing something else." What will it be? I'm not quite sure about that yet, but I am in the process of sorting through all the calendar items. I am assessing the pieces, scrutinizing my days and searching my heart, listening to what feels essential.
The sorting is not done, but I will be at my desk more often.