Our yard is covered in a blanket of fresh snow.

For now, it’s clean and new, sparkly and undisturbed on this star-lit morning.

For this moment, everything underneath is hidden from view. All I see is white.

Earlier this fall, yellows and browns filled our yard.

We made a huge pile and while the kids jumped and then buried themselves deep into the leaves, I used a wheelbarrow to move the leaves to our backyard, where I dumped them over the side of our hill and into the ravine below.

As we worked to sweep the leaves away, hiding them from view, I struggled with a heap of anger and frustration in my life related to a crisis in my career.

I wanted to hold onto hurt and anger, cherish it.

I  saw my anger as a security blanket, insulating me from further hurt, keeping those who disappointed me at a safe distance.

Then, and now, I understand that holding onto anger  is not a healthy strategy for coping with pain in life.

Holding on to pain does not make it subside. My regret, my disappointment, my failures, my hurt, my anger, my fear: when I keep them close, they turn to poison – bitter and vile.

As fall turned to bitter cold, I let go of the anger I was holding so tightly. I offered forgiveness to others and found it for myself.

When we forgive, we do more than just throw a blanket over our hurt. We do more than cover up what is underneath. When we forgive, we strip pain of power and create a fresh start for ourselves — and others.

And: this process repeats. Disappointment, anger, pain — forgiveness. Again and again, whatever happens, I want to return to forgiveness.

The snow in my yard, so brilliant this morning, will eventually turn grimy and gray. More snow will come, or it will melt away.

For now, all I see is white.

Whatever happens, I want to return to forgiveness.