Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflections For Winter

The winter solstice is, of course, the one day of the year when our side of the Earth is tilted furthest away from the sun.  It is the darkest day of the year; a time when we have the least amount of daylight, and the longest night of all.

Winter has various spiritual meanings in all sorts of different cultures.  Many of these deal with rebirth, as the ground is covered with cold snow, you must keep in mind that the soil beneath all of that cold, hard ice is filled with the greenery to come.  It is incubating beneath the ground and preparing for the day when it shoots outward and upward.  This is an excellent metaphor for what I like to do each winter; I tend to use it as both a "wrap up" of the year -- taking stock of all that I've accomplished, keeping careful records of what has proven itself to be effective and what has not -- and as a planning stage to prepare for the upcoming seasons.

I enjoy the comforts and festivities of winter as well; I keep warm, I enjoy time with my family.  I shop, I cook, I decorate for the holidays a bit.  I create a warm, safe, loving little nest to shield those whom I love from the harsh, cold world outside. It feels nice to think of my home as a wonderfully safe haven for weary travellers and those who need to forget their troubles just for a little while; the wintry winds blow bitterly outside, yet within my home is a cozy fireplace and a hot cup of tea to welcome all who enters my little world.  (What can I say, I'm a consummate hostess!)  And, while I'm enjoying the warmth and laughter of the people who are closest to and most loved by me in all the world, I'm planning my moves for the year to come.  Winter is the ideal time for being slow, and still, and festive; yet still being productive and accomplishing much with all of the zeal and zest for life what one possesses.

Photo credits:  Thanks so much to David Blackwell and timo_w2s for their breathtaking winter photos!

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