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Savoring the Gifts of Winter – Seasonal Article

Photo by Kacper Szczechla on Unsplash

While we fill the harvest season with celebration and joy, winter marks a time of solitude and reflection. It marks a time of ‘waiting for spring to come.’

I once thought of these cold, wet months as a place of death and loss or, at least, hibernation and introspection. Though I have always enjoyed my time alone and even appreciated having an opportunity for internal contemplation, I also saw the time as empty and even forsaken. I froze like the trees, dropping all my color while the cold reached deep into my bones to wrap itself around my heart. If I was alone, I felt more alone than at any other time. I could do no more than wait for the spring to arrive and thaw my empty heart so I could bloom once more.

But winter is not a time to focus on our losses or the places where we have failed. We have all done the absolute best we’ve known how to do with the understanding and resources we had available at the time. No matter how often we have fallen, we have met each of those moments with the success of rising again. Every time we’ve suffered, every time we felt we couldn’t go on, we found a way through. We’ve taken struggles and turned them into triumphs, and we carry that success within us, but we don’t need to carry forward the perception of failure. We are strong. I know this because we are here now, ready to try again.

I spent decades in that pain, unable to see beyond it until I studied the Essene people. I remember the first day I opened the Essene Book of Days and read the Seasonal Focus for January. The words ‘the seed stirs in the earth’ at the top of the page captured me, and my entire consciousness shifted. Of course, I don’t think of seeds stirring in January. I imagine they are just settling into the earth, finding the best place for growth. Then, as the cross-equinox of spring reaches its apex, life begins.

When I walk amongst the barren trees and the snow-covered mountains, I think now of the life sleeping deep within the earth, and I revel in this being the actual moment of creation. Life does not begin in the spring when the flowers bloom, or we plant vegetables in our gardens. Winter is when life decides what color the flowers will be when it asks itself what taste it craves. Seeds are stirring within us, but they are as delicate as the snowflakes falling outside the window where I write these words.

As we walk through the winter, I think it is important to celebrate the true potential of our journey where it is today. It is vital we ponder our life and gently foster the potential growing inside us. Flowers may fill the meadows in the place where you live, but I know there are also blooms just now coming to life in your heart.

Winter is the time when we resolve to be new people and do new things. New life is born of this season. It marks the upsurge of energy before the realization, before the growth, and long before the soil is tilled. This is the season when we take advantage of the fruit we bore in the fall. Whether it was recognition or an expansion, or a deeper understanding of who we are. Whatever our experience, there were benefits gained, and now is time to recognize those benefits. It is time to foster the seed born of them, a seed we can use to grow richer fruit.

We are here to finally connect with the beautiful things in our life that are inherently ours, not to try and create something, but to allow it. Lit up is a process of aligning with nature because when we discover what is already ours, we flow with it.

We live in a hurry up and get things done kind of world, and sometimes we might feel tempted to rush the seasons, but when it comes to nature, we must take each day as it is. Nature demands we let things unfold organically, and in winter, you’ll accomplish a lot more by pausing to take a breath than you will by trying to inflict your will upon what already is. It is an inherent act of nature to desire resolution at the beginning of the year. It is natural to want to create something new, but it is not natural to jump on a treadmill, start a new diet, or do anything really. Winter is a time for going within, for deepening our experience of self, and it has only just begun.

Relax into the quiet around you. There is no work for you to do. There is only the allowing of growth within you. This time of year isn’t about a seed you’re just planning today. It is not a seed you decide or the seed you want. It is a seed born of the fruit of last year’s harvest. Today, we can let go. Today, we can shift gears and commit to living every day while in that day and every night in anticipation of a brilliant tomorrow. We can choose to give ourselves to the experience of life and the unfolding of each season. Be the observer this season. Watch it unfold and discover faith in what might occur naturally.

See if you can find a way to let expansion happen more organically this year. Let this be your time to sink deeper into who you are becoming and to let nature take care of the rest. Trust it. It knows what to do.

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