Winter this year seems to linger for so many past their comfort zone. It seems to tease us with spring and then comes roaring in to cover us with a deep, stark presence.
I was never a big fan of winter. Being small in stature I was continually cold and my restlessness grew explosive. Maturing eventually brought with it the realization of winter fun. Most often spent in the lodge because my logical brain, attached to a shivering body, could not rationalize the long boring waits in the lift lines only to speed downhill. Of course my body won out over my minds thrill of the descent and winter became curling up with a good book.
As I woke up and realized the illusion of the seasons, the spirit of their essence, I learned to welcome and enjoy them eventually coming to be the observer.
Most of us know what winter represents. The time for introspection and quiet inclusion of self becomes the focus. We feed our bodies and our souls with warmth, wisdom, and pause yet looking for the end and the rebirth.
How often do we really use this time? Do we really rise each morning with the intent to seek the beauty in the starkness? Or at the first sign of the sun does our hope for spring distract us from the gift of winter? How often do you find yourself frozen in your search?
This winter in particular seems to be reluctant to usher in spring. Its tentacles have reached deep into this country’s landscape and brought with it intent to freeze all movement. Winter has shown us its strength and love for us. What is it that we have not been willing to at look deep inside? What part of us is frozen to beauty?
Our folklore even shows us the value of using winter. Punxsutawney gives us fair warning with a peek and duck. Six more weeks of winter isn’t a punishment. It is a gift that when opened leads to a rebirth. Look around and notice. The short days are not filled with darkness. How often have you taken the time to step outside to see the light bouncing off the stark landscape from the elegant moonlight? Do you hear the soft footsteps of the animals as they make their way? Are your lungs filled with the crisp air striking out the staleness of your breath? In the quietness can you hear wisdom calling?
What is in the darkness you are afraid to know? There is nothing within so dark that the Divine refuses to love you. Why do you hurry through the winter months? What makes the quiet so threatening? Before the invention of incandescent light our ancestors welcomed the winter. They knew its blessings.
For a moment let’s do what ifs. Not being fond of them, as I believe what ifs are our feeble attempts to squash the Divine’s voice in us. For just one moment though let’s make them a useful tool.
What if by your willingness to settle into the true essence of winter your spring exceeds your wildest expectations? Would it be worth the introspection, the quietness that allows the wisdom to surface, the ability to see in the dark heightened?
The Soul Traveler