Winter is here: Make of it what you will

clear glass sphere

I love this time of year. To be fair, I love every time of year (amused giggle). Now feels pretty magical though. It shouldn’t do. Whilst yesterday there was glorious, dazzling sunlight flooding into my office, today is grey, grey, grey. There is rarely any wind here, and so today, that is somehow adding to the greyness. There is nothing to blow it away. Yet the absence of light in the garden makes the autumn colours glow. The reds and the golds of the leaves simply ‘pop’ from the backdrop of the leaden sky. It really is very beautiful and peaceful. Today is a serene day.

Now, on the face of it, the world is dying back, fading, decomposing. Life appears to be ebbing away. There is a discernable drop in the energy around me. And I am sleeping like a good ‘un. This is a very welcome change after a hectic if joy-filled few weeks running up to my wedding. I need the rest and recuperation from longer sleeps. But the light levels have most definitely dropped and mornings are slow to get going.

I really welcome all of this because I know what’s coming. And so do you.

Green shoots. Both physical and metaphorical. My morning coffee in bed is taking a while longer. And during that time, I reflect. Not just in the dark mornings; I do this every day during the year. But in these darker seasons I take longer. I savour the slower pace, I count my blessings, and I hatch my plans.

Plans for the long term, and plans for the day. I have enjoyed my day in my head before I even think about poking my feet out from the duvet to point towards the floor.

If you permit yourself time to stop, observe and reflect, you get to see your own seasons in life. I think ours are multifaceted though. Each decade, year, month, week and day can go through ebbs and flows. We have times that flow, and times that ebb. Neither way is better or worse than the other. At the height of a growing season, the sunflower is already on its way to going to seed and returning to the earth. The break up of a relationship, a job we walk out on (or lose) can feel like life is on the wane, when it can also be a step towards a much improved life.

The sunflower has more certainty than ourselves. It knows its lifepath. We, however can choose ours. Maybe not the facts around it, but how we respond to the ebb and flow of our lives is in our gift. I have seen people triumph in the most tragic of circumstances, and I would never take away the enormity of the pain gone through to get there. Nor would I say that their circumstance was necessary for their growth. I wish a joyful life for everyone. And we are all different. A minor inconvenience for one is a disaster for another.

When winter comes, whenever it comes, there are green shoots somewhere. We can’t often see them, and we don’t need to nurture them. The sun will return, the beating heart of the earth will warm again, and life will spring forth, renewed, and ready to welcome the light returning. We can be sure of that regardless.

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