STOPTIME: Live in the Moment.

Lisa Hopkins: An Invitation to Create/Lessons From the Lake

January 21, 2023 Season 8 Episode 3
STOPTIME: Live in the Moment.
Lisa Hopkins: An Invitation to Create/Lessons From the Lake
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Show Notes Transcript

Lisa learns a lesson about what lies beneath if we chose to look. 

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The other day I stepped outside with my coffee as I do most mornings, no matter the season and breathed in the fresh January air. The lake had frozen over and was covered with a vast white blanket of calm, glistening snow that stretched out and winked at me as its crystals caught the morning sun.

It waited patiently for me as I cautiously stepped down onto its frozen surface; trepidatious of the unlikely chance that I might fall through. 

As I stood firmly with both feet on the lake, I noticed my fear transform into a feeling of joy that wasn’t there moments earlier. I felt simultaneously like the participant and the observer breathing in the fresh air as the lake, like a blank canvas, offered me an invitation to create.

I brushed some snow away with my foot and was delighted to find that just under the snow, was a pristine patch of smooth ice. I could see right through the ice to a rock that lay beneath and felt my heart start to race just a little bit as I put down my coffee, and reached for the shovel and broom.

I felt inspired to create a skating rink, but I slowed down my racing thoughts of future ice capades instead and allowed the simple motion of the shoveling to bring me back to the present.  As I cleared the snow, I felt more and more at peace. Fresh creative thoughts started to drift and flow into my mind. I allowed them to pass through me without taking action or assigning meaning in that moment and simply returned to the peaceful rhythm of the clearing. 

Is this a kind of meditation I wondered?

I was reminded of the monks who rake sand and remembered reading somewhere that the act of raking can help to bring order and peace to a wandering mind. 

After I had shoveled the snow away, I took my broom and began to polish the ice with a back and forth motion that made the ice shine. I thought about my neighbor and the ice rink that he had been engineering over the past few days, diligently flooding the lake trying to achieve the perfect surface for skating. I smiled at the irony that, at least for me that morning, the rink was already there.

The lake offered me a lesson that day about what lies beneath if we chose to look. 

I may or may not skate on the rink that I made (which as I write this, is again covered over with snow)  but I can promise you that I will join my diligent friend on his perfect rink and enjoy skating on the lake with friends. There are many ways to paint a canvas and an infinite number of reasons for doing things and that’s okay by me. It’s what makes us unique, artists of our own lives.

“Frozen”, by definition, means “incapable of being changed, moved, or undone : fixed.”

But here at the lake, frozen has precisely the opposite definition and is exactly where transformation begins.