At times we find ourselves losing our own light in the winter. The days are shorter, the nights feel longer, the air is harsh and less forgiving, and the forcefulness of the holidays clashes with our instinctual inclinations to slow our lives for awhile. As much as we know its time to slow down, the stillness of the post-holiday winter season can leave us feeling restless, melancholy, and pining for warmer days.
During the daylight hours, snow blankets the trees, chills the waters, and illuminates the earth with its whiteness and deafening silence. Living doesn't cease in the winter, it simply demands to be slowed. Our seasons on Earth are often perceived as a linear beginning and end, which can contribute to our seasonal biases. Acknowledging each season for what it offers is not easy. It is in our own nature to long for what comes next, to plan ahead, and to visualize our future. In the winter, this often includes seeing our future summer or spring selves through rose colored glasses - and shaming our winter selves for "not doing enough." While life slows during these colder months, it is not asking to stop entirely. Instead, Winter offers us a clean canvas to begin again.
But even in the coldest climates, life blooms.
The seemingly impenetrable nature of mountains creates a mental and physical obstacle. Beyond that, the well-known frigid climate of some regions in the Himalayas is eulogized as innate and unyielding, despite its beauty. The Sanskrit translation of Himalaya means, at its core, "snow dwelling" or, "abode of the snow." Rich, sacred cultures with deep ancestral roots live and flourish in this mountain range. Their homes are cradled by that same "unforgiving" environment that provides for them.
Home, peace, and comfort can still exist, no matter the climate.
Winter aches to be recognized, heard, seen, touched, and honored. Listen to the silence, slow yourself, and begin again.
"Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth." ~Hugh Macmillan, "Rejuvenescence," The Ministry of Nature, 1871