Our First Snow – a lesson on appreciating the forest & cultivating the trees
Well, it’s official. Our first snow in our new home has come and gone. It’s November in Montana, and dare I say it…winter is here! And while our hometown has changed since last year, Sean’s giddy feelings about the “first snow” have not. It’s like watching a kid on Christmas… except “Christmas” isn’t a set date. Christmas could happen any day—so when it does, it’s that much more of a surprise.
If you know Sean, you know he was SnapChatting the moment it started to dump:
For the past two weeks, northwest Montana’s forecast has been calling for “snow” every other day… but until this Sunday, NOTHING came. Sometimes it would say a 90% chance of snow in Whitefish—and still, nothing would happen. Seeing Sean on those days is like seeing a kid on Christmas who gets the wrong Lego set from Grandma. Angry, but not really angry because Grandma’s just trying to do her job, and Grandma does what she wants. So when the snow finally started coming down in earnest, Sean was as happy as could be. You can’t see it in the photo above, but he’s got a massive grin on his face.
I walked around the perimeter of our home the morning after, snapping photos of our first Montana snow. Looking at all the beautiful, snow-covered trees and seeing the sliver of morning light coming from the east, I recalled a lecture I heard recently, and I reflected on the forest surrounding our home as it applies to life.
Oftentimes, the day-to-day gripes overshadow our “big picture.” We feel obstructed from achieving our mission in life because we’ve got a bunch of seemingly meaningless stuff to do first. Metaphorically speaking, we focus on the forest, when we miss the trees standing right in front of us.
I believe we should know what the forest looks like, meaning our “greater picture,” or our “purpose” in life. Not our job, but rather what is the true talent we were put on the earth to do? We should never lose sight of that, and similarly, allow that forest to change as our lives change with us. In the meantime, our day-to-day focus shouldn’t be on that forest, but rather on each tree, one at a time… cultivating each with love and kindness. We must pay attention to the small things—our trees—that put us in the right place at the right time. Because in the end, when we look back, we will see that it was the trees (however meaningless they seemed at the time) that got us to where we are.
“Don’t focus on the mountains all the time. Focus on what makes the mountain whole.” —Levi Lusko