11172017Headline:

Subtropical Snow Knows No Boundaries

By KM Huber

In a year that is still young, it snowed in a subtropical climate—impressive–2014, it seems, has stuff to strut. After all, the mere possibility of snow/sleet in northern 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.

Snow on roof 020214

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 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.

I am reminded of the 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 need of 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.

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KM Huber is a writer who learned Zen from a beagle. She believes the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough. In her early life as a hippie, she practiced poetry, and although her middle years were a bit of a muddle, she remains an overtly optimistic sexagenerian, writing prose. She blogs at kmhubersblog.com, may be followed on Twitter @KM_Huber or contacted by email at writetotheranch[at]gmail[dot]com.

© 2014 KM Huber. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.


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