Treasure Valley Prays

Breathe! And Be!

snow in backyard

We are currently in the midst of the winter season. Earth itself gives us an opportunity to experience and learn from her wisdom. In this season, life itself slows down. The animals react by conserving their energy and some even hibernate through this cold and desolate time of year. It was snowing so hard that I couldn’t see much farther than half a block down the street. It was a “white out.” The trees have lost their foliage and lie dormant waiting, in expectation of the warming of the soil and rays of the sun as spring arrives. Even the rivers that once raged and roiled full of current simply meander and wind their ways to their eventual destination. This season offers us the opportunity to learn by example to honor, within ourselves, a time of rest, of peace, of respite, of pause, of break, or of breather.

A couple of days ago, while I was taking a mid-afternoon nap, it snowed. I was privileged to awaken to the opportunity of watching the “warm snow.” Did you know there was such a thing? It happens when you see large snowflakes fall—because the warmth of the air is just at freezing or just above—allowing clusters of smaller snow fakes to congeal and fall together—making those big flakes that we find so lovely. But I do digress. The snow drifted down in such intensity, landing softly and beautifully—creating a new and wonderous world…a world that although seemingly the same in time and space, changed and transformed anew—a truly magical experience. I stepped outside to take the picture that accompanies this devotion. I was struck by the silence that accompanied this snow fall. No sound. A time of silence and peace.

For about a half hour! It was not long before the vehicles began to run up and down the street, and industrious homeowners began to shovel off their sidewalks and driveways. Sounds of industry, engines, snow-blowers fille the air. Soon the pure white became a sea of gray and brown. Another example came to my mind—our human busyness. In our technologically oriented society, our days, weeks, months and even years all seem to run together. One day melds into another into another. We rush from one appointment to another in a feeble attempt to manage our time and energies.

Amid this self-created chaos and confusion, I was aware that the earth manages to continue, season after season, sunrise to sunset…waiting for us to note it’s example—providing us a steady, constant, diverse and beautiful example. It gently urges us to:

Slow Down!!! Breathe!!! Breathe and Be!!!

Breathe…our breath allows us to share and interact with all that is life. Our breath is the very essence of life. So today I would encourage you to do just that, follow the example that is set before us. Take some time for yourself to remember…. slow down!! Breathe!! Breathe and Be!! Offer yourself each day this opportunity to honor and remember the divine within yourself. Whether this means having a time set aside each day for meditation or prayer, or simply taking a few deep breaths on the elevator or at the stoplight. Such breath is like those warm snowflakes—added up it transformed the world for just a few minutes–steady, constant, diverse, and beautiful. Taking a breather offers each of us the opportunity to be transformed and to transform our world as we know it. Breathe and BE!

Kent Schaufelberger

Kent Schaufelberger

MDiv, Retired Chaplain, ACPE Certified Educator

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