A woman was following her own path on the Journey Of Life when, in the middle of a confusing day, she passed the reflection pool of an Oracle. It was full of ancient light rising from the depths of a source so deep and primordial that if you could trace it, you would find yourself somewhere before the origins of time. When the woman paused to look into it, the water was disturbed and she was unhappy, for here she had hoped to find answers to her questions. Fear seized her and she dreaded what might happen next. The woman wrapped herself tighter in her fear, for it was the cloak that she wore when she felt threatened.
Moving back from the pool, she sank onto the broad surface of a massive rock nearby and, as she sat in silence, anxious about all the terrible things that could happen, she heard the soft tinkling of wind chimes in the distance. A gentle Breeze blew across her face and whispered in her ear. “Why are you afraid?” This made the woman even more fearful. She felt her fists clench, her jaw tighten, her heart beat faster, and she became suddenly aware of many dark and threatening noises coming from shadows above and around her. She distrusted the rock upon which she sat. She distrusted her own perceptions.
Then, the voice of the Oracle whispered again, “Look into the water.”
“I can’t,” the woman stuttered. “I looked before and it was too rough for me to see anything clearly.”
“Of course. Then, set aside your fear and look now,” the Oracle persisted.
So, the woman cautiously removed her cloak of fear, set it down upon the rock, and walked over to the reflection pool. She looked into it and, behold! The water was calm and clear as glass. In fact, the woman could see herself quite vividly, huddled over into a fearful, misshapen image that she barely recognized. She blinked her eyes to make sure of what she was seeing behind her. There appeared a verdant forest of lush trees and brilliantly colored flowers, stars and planets and rainbows and fantastic cloud formations in a vast sky, colorful birds, and even the Oracle, standing there smiling, beaming love and acceptance. The woman could actually see the Breeze glittering in the air like a sprite, playing with her hair and teasing the birds to race with it through the trees. The woman was shocked and wondered why she had seen none of this before.
She turned to look around her and sure enough, it was all there as she had just seen it in the calm water of the reflection pool. Now, her feeling of fear changed to excitement. She was anxious to continue her journey and see what might happen next. But, before she could move, the Oracle spoke again.
“Your habitual reaction of fear comes from a place of self-protection that is good. But, there is no need to be afraid here or over there, or even over there. The next time you feel afraid, if you know you are in no danger, then just tell yourself that what you feel is excitement. Set aside your cloak of fear and open your heart to the possibilities of each new place and person on your Journey Of Life so that you can enjoy it more, and with less fear.”
With that, the Oracle actually laughed and, knowing how much the woman loved the still beauty of snow, told the woman this story:
One winter was especially cold and rough. Freezing winds, ice and heavy snow lasted for weeks and weeks. Then, in the middle of that harsh winter, a day dawned brightly. The storm clouds rolled away, the sun reappeared in the sky, and it felt just like spring. Thick mounds of iced-over snow melted and evaporated in the heat of the warm sun. All living things seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief. They turned their faces up to the sky and enjoyed the day. But, the next morning, winter returned with a vengeance. Blown across the sky by a razor-sharp wind, it filled the air with thick, wet puffs of snow that piled up fast and deep.
There will always be winter and spring and there will always be warm days in winter that remind us of spring, that look like spring; but, they are not spring. Even so, those warm days are not to be feared and neither is the snow.
Snow will fall on some who put out their buds the day before, thinking that spring was already here. They may have already flowered. Their reaction to the unanticipated wet blanket of snow will be suffocation. The cold snap will stunt their growth and it will be a long time before they have the opportunity to flower and bloom again.
Snow will fall on some who have sent their green shoots just above the surface, getting ready for the next stage in their cycle of life. Their response to the snow will be to find the good in it. The snow will nourish them and when the time is right, they will manifest their growth by flowering and reaching full fruition.
Snow will fall on some who do not react at all. They stand tall and strong and wait for the right time to bud and blossom and bloom. They will barely notice the snow, but others will admire them and take inspiration for the way they take everything in stride and for weathering the storm so beautifully.