I took myself for a walk recently, up into the Derbyshire hills. As I was climbing a fellside, some low cloud started to roll across the tops, like smoke. It started to snow, so I paused in a copse of young birch trees. Standing right below the snow cloud, I became aware of wanting to make the most of the next few moments – before the snow melted.
I enjoyed the feel of the snow as it landed on my skin, the look of it as it lay on the branches and tufts of grass, and the sound of it – I even heard it making a whispering noise as it fell onto dry bracken. I picked some up and watched it melt, change shape, and turn into water… and I noticed my disappointment as it did this.
I think part of the reason that snow holds a magical quality for me, is its transient nature – its impermanence. In mindfulness, the idea of impermanence is about accepting that nothing, including us, is fixed and that change is a part of life. A bit like the way each moment is transitory and like snow, melts and gives way to the next one.
I guess living more mindfully is about noticing moments before they melt into the river of our everyday lives.