We have only this moment

Growing up in the North Country of New York state, I know all about snow.
Big snows. White-outs. Snowblowers, snowballs, and snow forts. Getting stuck in the snow.
Being snowbound for days and driving through snow tunnels with 12-foot banks on each side of the road. Uninvited house guests begging for a place to stay when it was too dangerous to go on.
Lake-effect snows.
Unlike Lake Superior, which sometimes freezes over late in the winter, Lake Ontario never freezes over. Thus, when the wind blows from west to east, it picks up the warm moisture over the lake and dumps it on my hometown as lots and lots of snow!
The North Country can get as much as 300 inches of snow in one season–more than Buffalo. And the all-time record came in February, 2007 when a lengthy lake-effect snow event left 141 inches on nearby Tug Hill Plateau.
But still, I love snow. I’m never happier than when we get snow in the centre of the country.
The fall of snow, says British writer J.B. Priestley, is always “a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?”
Last Saturday night, we had just such an event when we went to bed in one kind of world and woke up in another.
Beautiful snow had created an enchanting world. Little hats of snow topped the bird feeders, and the snow-covered boughs of the tall evergreens surely were a work of art.
Everything was clean and white–and perfect. But beautiful as it is, we knew for sure the snow wouldn’t last.
This poignant certainty made me think of a quote from author Marie Beynon Ray: “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.”
We know that life is short, but sometimes we forget how short it is. A melting snowflake doesn’t last very long. Spring comes and the biggest snows melt.
That’s why you have to begin right now what you want to finish.
Do you want to write your autobiography? Type the chapter titles right now. Do you want to spend more time with your grandchildren? Call right now and invite a grandchild for the weekend.
Do you want to plan a special garden? Look at the seed catalogues tonight. Do you want to go to Europe? Check the web for special prices today.
Do you want to be closer to your friends? Plan a party. Do you dream of long afternoons reading with a cup of coffee by your chair? Go to the library and check out a book today, then pick up a bag of gourmet coffee at the grocery store.
Only you know what your dream is. The important thing is to get started right now.
Remember, life is short. You have only this moment, sparkling like a star in your hand–like a melting snowflake.
Make sure you don’t waste it!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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