Layers of winter:
Maple, flaunting her features,
Dressed for the season.
I had a remarkable experience of being one with the picture of winter rather than simply watching it through the panels of the back door, toasty-toed, from the wood stove. The latter cultivates gratitude for warmth, shelter, security; whereas going outdoors, if we fully open ourselves to the moment, winter can cleanse the soul just as it purifies the earth.
I was walking along the sidewalk the other morning and snow was newly falling, just beginning to powder the sidewalk and the hedgerow to my right. Thirty degrees; quite tolerable. I wasn’t wearing a hood and enjoyed the snow speckling my head, and a pleasant waft of chimney smoke from the house of neighbors a few doors down. I imagined the couple sitting at their wood stove with coffee in hand. I was glad for their comfort, yet I was glad to be outside in a quiet moment of gentle snowfall, and an incredible sense of peace washed over me, and in that moment I was immensely joy-full of the beauty of winter. The season that I’ve always retreated from spoke to me in a new way, and as spring seems to be arriving early this year and the happy birdsong is invigorating, something tells me that when leaves begin to fall this autumn, there will be no sense of dread for the coming cold. I’ve made peace with all seasons.