The HR Juggler

Beautiful Contradictions

Posted on: December 2, 2010

The tallest tree in my garden by far is a eucalyptus tree, which stands at around 8m tall with the capacity to grow to about 20m.  One of the fascinating things about the recent snowfall  is how it can change our perceptions of ordinary things and alter how objects appear.  My tall, proud eucalyptus is now less that one-third of its usual height and resembles a willow tree, bowed and cowed by heavy snow.

Trudging through the snow with my daughters this morning, I was struck by what an amazing leveller snow is and how it inevitably brings us back to the basics and priorities of our lives.  Cars deeply snowed in, people walking and talking to others they would perhaps never usually speak to, a shared amazement of the beauty of the snow and its capacity to deeply inconvenience our ordered lives.  The potential of recreating a sense of community with neighbours we barely speak to in the hustle and bustle of everyday busy-ness.

To suggest that snow brings out the best in all of us would be naive and indeed I was berated en route this morning by an angry man, who chose to misinterpret my politely thanking him, into some ulterior motive.  You can’t reach everybody and he was deeply and unnecessarily unpleasant.  I do believe though that these adverse weather conditions offer us the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, the wonder of nature and the real priorities in our lives, be they our families, homes, children, pets or something different altogether.

I am not a big fan of the snow or the inconvenience it brings to all of us.  But realising that there is nothing I can do about it, I am determined to go with the flow and recognise the opportunity for reflection and peace that can be found at the heart of this disruption…which is perhaps the most beautiful contradiction of all.

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