winter wisdoms

The day began in the cozy leisure of the home, a wood fire in the belly of the stove, warm oatmeal in my own, curled beneath the sunny afghan on the sofa. My attention veered from the pages of my journal to the window, where the snow fell softly, steadily, and so quietly upon the accumulation, as I reflected upon all that had befallen me in these brief days –  a refreshment both of goodness and of peace, and of my rightful  place within it. Out there deep in those woods, within that cathedral silence, along those snowy trails, I had found stillness, rediscovered a wonder without words. There, outside the noise of our human made constructions, often just beyond the bustle, life continues and persists in its own humble wisdom, so much greater than our hubris. 

So often pausing along those snowy paths –

-alongside deep ravines to listen to the rumble of the rushing water beneath the frozen ice,

 -in the center of snow-flocked spires that drew my eye to the great dome of falling clouds to which they point,  

-along the artery of a snowcovered walkway that lead directly to the heart of a rich bog, turning and turning there in wonder at the motionless meandering stream, at the sentinels of scraggly black spruce made more beautiful in their frosty coats, at the tracks of marten and fox seeking the day’s nourishment in those frozen drifts

-at the clearing at the top of our ascent where we were stopped short by fold upon fold of gray upon gray, laid out before us as a reminder to simply breathe in and receive the deep abiding stillness and vast assurance of this place and our smallness within it,

the cold reminded me to keep moving.  Walking onward, our footsteps soft in the freshly fallen snow, I heard and accepted the hushed invitation to dwell in that stillness even while in motion, to remember this ever-present beauty and peace and carry it with me.

My friend and I had been talking a lot about responsibility, pondering what exactly that means in each of our lives and the ways in which we confuse it with internalized ‘shoulds’ and expectations and pressures (and well, anxieties) to do and to be enough.  We both feel ‘responsible for’ in ways that are not always helpful to and honoring of ourselves. I was struck by the way in which our ability to respond deeply from within (response-ability) is drastically diminished by so much noise round about us that we cannot hear our own voice. We are made less-than who we might be when we are driven by extrinsic needs to be seen as good enough, to belong, to be approved of,  to be loved for what we do rather than who we are. The gift that we are gets buried in all of that doing right or being good or mending the world.  

Here in the quiet it is easier to remember to be like a tree, rooted firmly even when the sky falls and threatens to bury us, to simply allow even that covering to reveal the beauty of our true nature, the bones of our unique way of bearing Life. Or to be still enough to listen for the rumble of our own underground stream, to not get swept into the tumult. Or to be wiry enough to seek nourishment even in what appears to be barren and frozen. Or to be content to be small and to trust in the Mystery of Things that are not as black and white as we want them to be.  

This morning, back in the warm hospitality of this home, where I am allowed to be and to express fully who I am without judgment, I am exploring these thoughts in my journal, letting them nourish me even as the birds outside the window also receive the nourishing hospitality of this place of friendship-with — friendship with my companion, friendship with the earth, friendship with life as it is, and mostly, friendship with myself.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erin Morlock
    Feb 04, 2017 @ 14:08:55

    you have captured a special winter peace well. To be able to share and withdraw, time together and time alone in the middle of it – that is a true gift!



  2. kidfriendlyyoga
    Feb 04, 2017 @ 20:45:07

    Lovely reflection and beautiful pictures! Canada?



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