When snow lies deeply and Winter's cold sinks even deeper, home and hearth beckon. A cup of hot chocolate becomes not just a beverage but a soul-nourishing, tummy-warming...EXPERIENCE...a gift to the heart of our loved ones and honored guests that says, "Welcome. Come in. Be comfortable. You are cossetted and loved".
Warm rooms and beds become sanctuaries in which to linger. A hot bath warms from outside in - into our innermost core. We retreat to sofas and chairs and find cozy comfort en-wrapped in knitted afghans, snugged up with a good read. A cup of hot tea near at hand.
We may have to hasten out into the cold and wet to go to work or other needful places, to feed animals, or shovel walkways ahead of snow-dusted visitors. Then, quickly we hasten back into warm rooms and buildings, the relief of coming in from the cold visible upon our countenances and expressed verbally with a long sigh of relief. To be inside looking outside through frost-thatched windows, safe and cozy, is one of Winter's small pleasures.
In this Season of Winter - the Fallow Season - there is less to do. Outside activities consist of that which must be done and occasional Winter sports - skiing, ice skating, etc., but even so, we are more still. We have some extra time to think, to plan, and to reflect.
This is a time for harkening back over the past year. Of asking ourselves what worked and what didn't. We might question how to improve or change what didn't work and how to improve outcomes. Or, we might decide what needs to be scrapped, cleared, or discarded in order to have more time to build or create something new.
Some things we can't control or even effect. Other things we can fashion and build upon.
What will we create in this new, bright, year?
Right now I'm reflecting upon the year just past and contemplating this new year ahead. Endings and New Beginnings! Life is made up of Grace and Grief. Love and Loss...and not always in equal measure.
For me, last year brought more grief than grace, more loss than love. Yet, as I reflect back, I find that even within the grief, quiet notes of grace emerged with their simple, subtle melodies of peace amidst pandemonium. And loss, that seemed to drone on through Summer's long days, has been healed by friends re-gained and new friends made, by healing, and help, and caring from unexpected people and sources.
And now, in this Season when life lies fallow upon the snow's surface and within icy soil, I know that beneath it all new life slowly stirs readying to assert itself anew when snows melt, and the Earth eventually warms as it moves inexorably nearer our Solar star.
When life seems harsh I've learned that amidst the chaos it is helpful to embrace one or two things that can act as an anchor, a guidepost, a lamp lit against the surrounding darkness.
For me during the past year this blog kept me focused on what was positive and good and the loved ones that have been constant and present.
My home was the sanctuary into which my heart and soul retreated time and again when the "wolves" paced beyond its safe boundaries.
With this Fallow Season that heralds a New Year rife with potential, hope, and growth, I ready myself by first looking about at what needs to be cast adrift and what needs to be embraced, gathered together, planned for, and set into motion.
What will you set into motion? What will we love to see accomplished? Created? Improved? And be grateful for?