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Walking in The Snow With Two Mini Philosophers

St Albans Cathedral - In The Snow!

St Albans Cathedral - In The Snow!

There is something magical about the snow.

I remember the days when I used to watch the news and read the papers. As soon as snow hit there were reports of disaster, doom and gloom all over the country. Trains weren’t running because it was the wrong type of snow, people were freezing to death and cars were being marooned all over the country.

These days I do not read any papers beyond the sports pages and the news is something that I haven’t watched for years. I realised one day that not since the days of John Craven’s Newsround (and I’m now showing my age!) had I seen something positive on a news report.

Since our focus affects our lives, why would I want to find out lots of things that aren’t working?

Today I went out walking in the snow and a lady in a car pulled out in front of me as I walked down the road. She looked at me and gave me a huge smile. I smiled back and have felt great ever since. It has not been a typical experience for me in St Albans so far.

Since the snow has come I’m sure that all of the same things that always happened are happening. However, my experience is now completely different.

My evenings have now incorporated a walk to our local lake, which has been frozen over for the past week or so. The snow-covered surroundings light up the place enough to see clearly as the moon reflects upon it.

Something that I would have taken for granted, or not even left the house to see, is now causing me an inner peace like never before. Standing on the bridge of our lake and taking in the surroundings at night, in what is usually an empty park, is something special and has led me to many profound insights.

My nephews, Connor and Kian, aged 6 and 7, stayed with me over the weekend. On Friday evening we went for a late night walk and snowball extravaganza by the lake. We ran into a group of people building an igloo – a very impressive feat. What wasn’t so impressive was me falling through the wall of the entrance as I attempted to help them cover the roof.

This caused great (and understandable) irritation amongst the builders. It also prompted loud laughter from my nephews. I decided to take the blame and exit the scene as the builders of the now collapsed igloo pointed fingers at each other and the language became more colourful! My nephews giggled all of the way to the lake. It was funny and a classic example of when positive intent meets negative results. Fortunately, Connor and Kian saw the results as very positive indeed and have been laughing about it ever since!

After an hour or so of running around I took them to the bridge to stand and reflect with me.

We chatted for about half an hour and I found my eyes welling up at the profundity of what they had to say. My elder nephew, Connor, realises how lucky he is and how others do not have as much as him. His plan is to contribute his entire savings to sponsoring goats for African families.

I’m not sure that his mum and dad will be as quick to let him spend all of his savings on goats but he really wants to do it. I had no idea about the project that he was on about but now realise that it is running and the advertising must have affected him deeply.

Kian, my younger nephew, started talking about Club Penguin and saving rainforests. I had no idea what the link was until afterwards. It turns out that there is a website called Club Penguin where kids have their own penguin and collect coins for penguin accessories. Every now and again they get a chance to give coins to a worthy cause. Kian told me that he always gives coins to help grow trees. He tells me that this is – “because without trees we will be dead.”

Kian also went on to say “When I was young (and he’s only 6!) I thought that it was important to win all the time but now I know that it isn’t always.” I had never heard them share in such a light before. I let them stay out late, talked to them like adults and, suddenly, I’m faced with two philosophers.

Connor then looked up at the stars, “Isn’t that nice Uncle Ads, shall we join them together and make shapes?” I hadn’t even noticed them until that point.

In those moments I felt grounded, connected and truly grateful to be alive. Magic is the ability to be in the moment and usually involves doing something different to that of the masses.

I went to catch a train at St Albans station last week. It was delayed and severe weather warnings had the staff advising us not to travel. I had an event to run and had to go into London. I ended up having a drink at the station coffee shop. It soon filled up and before I knew it I was joined by three ladies. Chatting to people that I don’t know has not been a regular experience for me in St Albans but lately it has.

In adverse situations community spirit is nurtured for many. More people are smiling. More people are talking. And more people are feeling better. Maybe this is just a reflection of what I am feeling at the moment. Whatever it is – it has all been enhanced since the snow started.

How I feel has now become my number one priority in life. If it feels good then I will do it. If not – it’s time to do something else. Right now, I am loving St Albans, the snow and everyone who I have met or smiled at me in the past weeks. Even a simple smile has the ability to transform someone’s day.

By doing things that feel good we can change our entire life. I went out with two friends to London on Christmas Eve and this is what happened…
Feeling Good On Christmas Eve

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3 Responses to “Walking in The Snow With Two Mini Philosophers”

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  2. adam says:

    Thanks Matthew,

    Your comments are much appreciated.

    Wishing you a most wonderful week,


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