If you would learn more, ask the cattle,
Seek information from the birds of the air.
The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,
And the fishes of the sea will tell you all.
There is not a single creature that does not know
That everything is of God's making.
God holds in power the soul of every living thing,
And the breath of every human body.
-Book of Job 12:7-10
Winter Solstice has come and gone, bringing hope of lighter days. Yet in Central Texas large swaths of us are “almost” suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder with an unusually large number of grey, wet, rainy days. Those of us tending our animals have trudged mud back and forth as we try to keep them comfortable, watching for signs of stress or illness. In the northeast of the country, snow hurls upon hardier peoples in mountainous quantities. Life crunches on. Or does it?
Nature’s seasons affect humans more than we may realize in our daily grind. Winter has sacred lessons to teach us.
Winter is a perfect time to take stock. This season calls us to drop our “externals,” like trees dropping leaves, so that we can turn our energy inwards, dig our roots deeper, and pull in nourishment from the soil and the mysterious underworld of renewal. As inclement weather heaves over us, sending us indoors more, perhaps we can use this quiet, stiller time to reflect on what root we want to send deeper, what nourishment we need, and what resources are available to us.
Speaking to friends from Canada to Texas who are "cocooning," we timidly share with one another our slow emergence from winter’s darkness. We admit that we want to stay in this slower-moving pace after holiday “busy-ness.” We need to pause and consider what is in our face, the larger story that is trying to emerge for us, and what we consciously choose to come into our life. Metaphorically, we allow the soil to ooze between our toes, re-mineralize our soles, and re-balance our ions.
What am I rooting during this winter cycle? I am rooting my vision quest with The Earth Tribe. I love Mother Earth as she is the source of all of our resources, so I am taking the time to tune-in to her rhythms – mine too.
“This is me” jumped into action each day, reading e-mails and doing chores to get ahead on my task list in order to feel productive. “This is me…and” has developed a new pattern of mindfully easing into my days by tying my quest prayer ties, as I listen to music. With this new habit I am strengthening my roots of inner peace and resilience. When life challenges such as unexpected road works or grumpy people inevitably hit, my roots are deep and wide. I do not topple over. I do not bend to snapping point. I sway and return to center.
There is a LOT going on down in the soil of our lives. Take a moment to sink your feet and fingers deeply into the nourishment that may nurture your life journey. What are you growing in your “soil of life?” How are you nurturing the growth? What are you rooting this winter? Is it worthy of you?
Send us your thoughts.
Part 2 – Going Deeper - explores the paradox of everyday living with the quest for more meaning. Learn more about the three realms, including, "This is me."
Join Us on Our 2015 Renewal Retreat to Scotland & The Borders
Hooked on all things Scottish - Outlander, Highlander or Monarch of the Glen?
Treat yourself to renewal for 2015. Retreat to the land of "Outlander" where rugged beauty marries resilience and peace. Special massages and body work; quiet meditations and yoga; trips to historic Edinburgh, its castle, and shops; walk amongst ancient stone circles and Buddhist prayer wheels; learn from the herd; hike in the forests; eat fresh-baked goods in village cafes; enjoy spontaneous surprises; meet locals and get an insider's view; live in a beautifully-restored private cottage with wood stove on a working farm with horses and dogs.
Sheila Armitage helps individuals and organizations adopt everyday resilience practices that boost work, home, and health.