Saturday, December 27, 2008

melting vs thawing

Two words sometimes interchanged; yet do they mean the same thing?

Melting tends to be a going away or destruction of something. As in 'the mounds of shoveled snow are slowly melting, long after the layer on the grass and sidewalks are long gone.' Or the wicked witch of the west melting/disappearing after Dorothy throws water on her. As is 'my ice cube is melting' which means it will soon be gone or absorbed into the liquid in which it is floating.

Thawing tends to be a warming up from too cold temperatures; a positive experience, generally. Thawing can be done quickly or slowly. Thawing can be an emotional or mental activity; melting is a physical activity. No, wait - we do say we "thawed our heart" towards someone or something; but it does still need a physical element. However, we can "warm to the idea."

Yes, I'm thinking about melting and thawing because that is what we are doing. Today I went places where there were no signs we were snowed in with twelve to sixteen inches of snow (yes, inches, here in Portland). It had disappeared in the near 50 degrees and several inches of rain. Melted. The trees and grasses and plants have thawed. The ground may still be thawing in places where there are still piles of snow. And today I drove through areas where there is still snow covering the ground and plants are starting to peek through, but one could see there was some significant snow recently. And some cars, still surrounded by piles of snow from the street plows, which will still need to be dug out unless the near 50 degrees holds through the night and there is enough rain to wash or melt it away.

And then I started thinking how my heart and spirit thawed a little in Mexico, though I haven't talked about that much since being back. But they did. I think this was the next part of my journey I was supposed to find in Mexico: opening to relationship. Opening, melting, thawing. Being curious and being willing to see what lies underneath.