Savoring the Gifts of Winter
Welcome to LiTup 365
While we fill the season of harvest 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 been one to enjoy my time alone and even appreciate having an opportunity for an internal contemplation, I also saw the time as empty and lonely. I felt the cold reach deep into my bones and wrap itself around my heart. If I was alone, I felt my alone more than at any other time. I froze like the trees and dropped all of my color, waiting for the spring to come and thaw my empty heart so I could bloom once more
Then, 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. I don’t think of seeds stirring in January. I imagine they are just settling into the earth at that point, preparing to stir as the equinox of spring nears, but the words move me just the same.
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 think of how this is the real moment of creation. Life does not begin in the spring when the flowers bloom or when we plant vegetables in our gardens. Winter is the time when life decides what color the flowers will be, when it begins to ask itself what taste it craves. There are seeds stirring within our beings but they are as delicate as the snowflakes falling outside the window where I sit and 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 important to ponder the life around us and when it really began. 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.
This 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 manifestation; before the growth; before the soil is tilled. This is the season where we take advantage of the fruit we bore in the fall. Whether it was a realization or an expansion. It might have been a deeper understanding of who we are. Whatever our experience, there were benefits gained. It is time to recognize those benefits so that we can foster the seed born of them, a seed we can use it to grow richer fruit.
It will not serve us to hold back here. It will not serve us to give another year of our lives to what we hope might be. We are not here to connect with the desires we already have. 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 our, we find it’s a lot easier to go with the flow than it is to try and swim upstream.
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 the day it is. Nature demands we let things unfold organically and in the season of 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 or start a new diet or do anything technically. Winter is a time for going within, for deepening our experience of self and it has only just begun.
How could you possibly know the full potential of a seed you haven’t yet planted? The truth is, you can’t. It is said, “If you’re going to live 90 years, it is best to live 90 years and not the same year 90 times.” We cannot look at the seed and know the full potential of the plant. To become something new, we must allow the possibility to settle deep into our bones.
Today, we can decide to 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 instead to give ourselves to the experience of life and the unfolding of each season.
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. There is no work for you to do. There is only the allowing of growth within you. Be the observer this season. Do not attempt to determine the life you want, watch it unfold and connect instead to finding your faith in what might occur naturally.
It can be human tendency sometimes look back on our lives and see only our failures but the truth is; with every difficulty you faced and every mistake you’ve made, you’ve also found a way to overcome. Failure is not an inherent, inherited quality. It is the manifestation of fear, but we can decide to no longer let fear begat more fear, destroying our tomorrow. Fear has ruled our lives long enough.
No matter how often we have fallen, each moment of falling was met with the success of rising again. Every single time you’ve suffered, every time you felt like you couldn’t go on, you found a way through. This striving has grown you into the person you are today. You carry within you every success of it but you don’t need to carry forward your perception of failure.
You have done the absolute best you’ve known how to do with the understanding and resources you’ve had available at the time. You’ve taken those struggles and turned them into triumphs. I know this because you are here now, ready to try again.
See if this year, you can find a way to let expansion happen more organically. 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.