I remember it snowed pretty hard a couple of winters ago. I know my North American friends will be sniggering at this, because as everyone knows, it doesn’t really snow here in England : )
Anyway, after a night of unusually heavy snowfall, everyone got snowed in. People couldn’t get to work. Schools were shut. Life,it seemed, had come to a grinding halt.
Then, around 10 in the morning, something wonderful began to happen. I began to see Mums, Dads and little ones, all playing outside in the snow. Some made snowmen, while others had snowball fights. Some lucky kids got sleigh rides with Mum or Dad dragging them along. I even saw some families heading off towards the park, which is just 5 minutes away from where I live (ok I overheard them say they were going there).
So much joy and laughter from just one un-planned day of freedom provided by Mother Nature. It was a glimpse into a reality that I hadn’t imagined or experienced before. For as long as I can remember, most people HAD to go somewhere and do something on weekdays. Most children go to school and adults, to work. Weekends generally seem to be spend rushing around the shops and getting on top of household chores, with perhaps the odd bit of family time and socialising. Annual leave was usually reserved for dental appointments, weddings, exams and the like. On the rare occasion that the annual leave was actually spent going on holiday somewhere, the days would be filled with rushing from place to place in order to get all the sight-seeing done and ticked off.
When the snow hit, there was nothing anyone could do about it. School, work, dental appointments and weddings all had to wait. You couldn’t really plan the day in advance and you didn’t really know how long you’d be snowed in. You were well and truly stuck. Yet in that ‘being stuckness’ I caught a glimpse of true freedom for humanity. Something that is fast becoming rare for most.
I remember making a wish that day. I wished to see the day when all of humanity would enjoy true freedom – to enjoy their time doing what ever it was that brought them joy. Regardless of what the weather was like.