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The Gift of Winter’s Quiet Grace

On December 26th, 2022

The shift from fall to winter can be very special. In the natural world, this primordial change involves a process of death and entombment with the potential for authentic rebirth in the spring. It correlates directly to some of the most powerful spiritual/religious themes and stories the world over.

Living here at the edge of the Colorado wilderness, I find the deep dark of the winter— when night is longer than day—to be a good time to rest, to go inside the “cave” and to sink into the nothingness, the emptiness of complete stillness that is so much more accessible now than during other seasons.

This stillness is literally that very quiet place from which new creations arise. It is profound, mysterious, and incredibly fertile. Invariably, I find good medicine when I retreat into this stillness of winter. I find it—or rather, it finds me—in meditation or, sometimes quite unexpectedly, during walks through the snow, sitting by the fire, reading, etc. This quiet is vitally important because it allows space for pre-creation to be present. It is directly akin to the empty, nothingness state that existed before the initial flash and massive creativity exhibited in the Big Bang, and we all know what a phenomenally productive event that was!

Due to this powerful transformative aspect, winter is often considered the most sacred time of the year. We can, if we wish, step off the dominant economic/political/cultural merry-go-round for a while, and use this time for a deep transformation of our being. It can help us more directly mirror and align internally with the natural transformation happening all around us in Nature. It can be an effective time of sleep, of dream, and then later, of awakening. We all have the ability to introspect and brainstorm on the things we can change. Then, in the spring, we can awaken to a new way of being in the world—a new, improved incarnation—when the time arrives for us to put our plans and New Year’s resolutions to work in our lives and in the world.

(written by Lee Temple, November 2013)

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