More About the Season of Winter in Your Life

When winter knocks on the door and you are snowed in, you can’t leave the house, can’t escape yourself. All human movement in the white world ceases for a time as the wind roars, snow swirls and drifts pile up against all obstacles.

Here you are in the house, cozy and warm, yet there remain many long weeks until the spring thaw comes. You will endure the cold, the wind. You will survive this harsh and bleak time of year when life seems to have abandoned the world.

Winter strips bare the bones of Mother Earth, lays the reality of the frozen world before you – the tree wraiths with their black branches dancing in the gusting wind that cuts like a knife.

Winter trees

Many compare winter to death. But, dear ones, life waits deep in the roots of the sleeping trees and grasses, Deep in the soil below the frost zone, beneath the blinding drifts of snow. Life bides her time, resting and waiting for the warm mild days to return, the bright spring sun that draws all life upward to his life giving light.

Spring tree

When winter overtakes your being, find time to rest and go inward. Connect with the spark of existence that is deep within your being and know that life will return once again when the season turns.

Ice and Water

Dear beloved, do you exist in the manner of frozen ice, living in a perpetual winter, or do you live and breathe and move like flowing water? Have you known both ways of being?

All who walk this earth find themselves in the season of life called winter from time to time, a winter in the mind, in the emotions, a frozen heart, perhaps a time of grief.

GCW in snow

If you are stuck in the cold, you will find a way to cycle through the season of winter in your life and move on to the time of thaw and warming. This feels like spring with new life unfolding everywhere, giving way to the bank full flow in streams and rivers and the green leaves of summer.

When you are living in the seasons of spring and summer within your heart, your life flows effortlessly downstream finding the path of least resistance, moving forward with grace, moving toward the ocean with ease.

In summer, your life is like a river, refreshing all who drink of it, sustaining life along its course. The river of your life moves through the landscape, flowing easily around obstacles, even cutting through layers of stone over the course of centuries, to reach the goal.

Sunlit ripples, shallow creek

Then once again you may experience the biting winds and chilly air of autumn and into the frozen time of winter. All forward movement, all flow ceases when winter arrives, life goes underground and water freezes. Everything is stuck in place, frozen in time and space. As you have been here before, you know it is a temporary state. Do not lose heart, dear ones.

With time, patience, self awareness and self love, you can thaw the frozen and stuck places in your heart. Reach out for help if you need it. Your life can once again flow like water in midsummer.

Where there is forward movement and flow, there is life.

Winter Storm

Bare branches shiver in the roaring winter wind; air heavy with blowing snow, the sun dimmed, sky heavy with impenetrable clouds. All the world softened, hazy and indistinct.

Pitiless wind ripping and tearing across the land, scouring everything in its path. Wind forming snow into drifts of sculptural beauty near buildings, fences, trees, shrubs. Like smoke from a furious fire, snow pours from roof peaks and slopes.

All perennial rooted beings sleep under the cold blanket. Their life retreats inward to the roots, waiting for spring to rise again, oblivious to the wind and cold and the shifting drifts covering all the land.

Grandmother Cottonwood, snowy day

All fur bearers are safe within their burrows or weather tight nests, snuggled together for warmth. Winter birds fluff their feathers under cover, cold blooded creatures hibernate in their earthy dens, sleeping deeply beneath the frozen mud.

Dear ones, remember the wonder you felt as a child your face pressed to the icy window, watching the snowstorm rage, joyful at the school cancellation?

You were safe and warm in your lighted house, watching the fury unfold outside, feeling the fierce beauty, the raw power of wind and snow.

Walking on Ice

There are times in life when humans who live through freezing winters must walk on ice. It cannot be avoided.

To walk safely on the ice, total awareness is required in the present moment. Each movement and each step forward much be considered, balance maintained.

Those who have no choice but to walk on ice must have an eye for the safest places to place their feet. These are the spots that will provide the most traction. This knowledge and body wisdom is based on a lifetime of walking on ice.

GCW and Icy Path

Sometimes the path ahead is clear for easy walking without the walker having to consider each step. Then once again there may be packed snow or glassy ice patches on the path. It is beautiful, yet potentially dangerous.

You who walk on ice must know when to walk flat footed, when to shuffle, when to stride forward without planning your every step. Thoughts of fear or anger will deflect your attention and bring you down.

Such is life in a human body, dear ones. Sometimes you will have to carefully pick and choose your steps, slowly making progress through the dangerous places, finding traction, trusting the Earth will support you.

You must do your part as well and listen to the wisdom of your body, earned through many years of experience walking on ice.

Survival

Dear readers this post is from the archives of AskGCW.

Rumors of the demise of Mother Earth have been greatly exaggerated. This planet will endure, she will continue spinning on her axis, orbiting the sun. Day will follow night. The sun will rise in the East. The ancient cycle of seasons will endure, the moon will wax, become full, wane, then begin again in darkness.

Full Moon

The ancient cycles will endure even if humans are no longer here to witness the beauty, to name the seasons, and study the stars

Humans are slowly committing suicide as they ignore the warning signs of the stressed and overtaxed environment and atmosphere. I ask you to slow down and listen to your Great Grandmother the Earth. Learn her language. Pay attention to her signs, symbols, her distress call.

When you learn her language, the language of the web of life, you will learn the ancient ways of survival on this planet. You will learn to respect the amazing intelligence built up over eons of time within every living thing and every living system.

Tuning in to the messages and intricate interconnections of the web of life and hearing the voices of all living things here on this planet still means survival.

Technology in your pocket, shiny objects, expensive homes will not save or buffer you from the reality that you are a part of this web of life, a part of nature. We survive together!

Take action to divest yourselves and your human cultures of greed and corruption. Stop over-consuming our precious resources and hoarding wealth for only a few. These things damage the web of life.

Learn to use only what you need. Learn to be humble. Learn to love each step you take on Mother Earth, each breath you take into your miraculous body, each beat of your heart.

Wake up and embrace your precious life on this precious Earth!

Choose life! Slow down, live simply.

Daylilies

Each of our exquisite flowers lasts only one day.

As the sun comes up, our buds unfold like bright stars and open to the light. We expand and blaze brightly, opening our hearts, living in the grace of this moment and the next, and the next until darkness falls.

We shine and glow. We open our hearts to pollinators and beauty seekers. We stand alone or in masses spreading slowly over the years. We live our lives under the sun moon and stars.

We sun colored beauties bloom during the long summer days. Each bloom shines for one day from our unfolding at dawn to our decline and wilting when darkness falls.

We daylily blooms must make the most of our precious short lives in the sun.

The foundation of our growth- our tough roots connecting us to mother earth. They gain strength, multiply and spread year by year. Our arching leaves soak in life-giving light throughout the growing season, feeding our roots.

We live to bloom. It is the culmination, the high point of our year. Our tough and resilient roots draw up what is needed for our elegant leaves of deep green and our exquisite budding stalks in June and July, months of long days and bright sun.

Time stands still on these days as we shine in the light of grace, fully alive in this present moment.

We open our short lived buds and bloom without reserve, each for one precious golden day.

The tree spirit speaks

In my new state of expansion, I feel a freedom like I imagined flying would be, soaring like the turkey vultures that inhabit the wooded valley I once called home. Lighter than air. Free from gravity.

Soaring Turkey Vultures

My new perspective and existence as spirit gives me exquisite sensitivity to the frequencies and vibrations, the interconnected web of energy in all things. I feel the vibrations of the humble earthworm, the microscopic bacteria in the soil that endow fertility, the shy and gliding snakes winding their way through the prairie grasses, belly to belly with our Earth, tasting and smelling the rich soil, the dancing stream, rippling in the sunlight, flowing steadily without resistance to the river.

Prairie grasses

I see the empty place in the canopy where I once stood. I grew tall and spread my limbs wide. I felt joyful to live in my beloved home. Once upon a time…

Now I see that other trees and rooted beings will soon shoot up and claim the sunny space I left behind. taking their place in the canopy. They will soak in the sunshine, draw up moisture from the soil, spread their limbs wide. They will endure lightning, high winds, rain storms, freezing cold, wilting heat. They will thrive and survive through adversity, through lean years and fat years.

They will grow as I did, reaching to the light, sending down roots without resistance. Expanding year by year. Loving life!

Because life is worth it! Life is precious.

Trees and perseverance

From a minuscule seed to a towering giant many decades later, we trees have an enduring will to live to survive and thrive. We know how to persevere.

We develop strong roots and sturdy branches and thick bark to survive. In our tender days and weeks, we must survive hungry insects and gnawing mammals looking for a tender bite, a succulent treat, floods that would undercut our roots, drown on suffocate us, mowers and grazers, weeders, weed killers, cultivators.

Tiny seedlings and concrete

We must live with the prospect of being overshadowed by larger plants, storms, wind that might uproot us or break our branches, lightening strikes that kill our friends and neighbors, the dreaded chainsaw; winter chills frost upheavals, summer heat that could fry an egg.

Yet we endure! Every spring we wake and choose life once again, sending out new shoots and leaves, increasing our roots, growing taller, wider, stretching to the light.

Grandmother Cottonwood summer light

We persevere for what choice do we have? We choose life.

Spring Evening

Sun sinks toward the western horizon. Light pierces through the woods creating long shadows, dramatically spotlighting a single leaf, tree trunk, branch or blossom.

Robin sings the familiar evening songs all robins have sung since this land was new.

American robin

Tender new maple leaves fan out, yellow green against the pale blue late afternoon sky. Ferns unroll their sweet green toothy leaves and stretch out in the cool shade.

Violets shelter close to the ground, lifting their purple faces among the heart shaped leaves. Bumble bees work every possible blossom while the light holds.

The plants, trees, shrubs, perennials, and what are often called weeds grow in a riot, each claiming its place, rooting down and reaching up to the light, each finding a home.

Red squirrel

Squirrels chase and take giant leaps from tree to tree, passing time with a little craziness, a little play, a little high wire act with no net.

Turkey vultures

Vultures make their way home from all across the city, soaring, catching the last updrafts of the day. They can’t resist a few final figure eights, and possibly an aerial trick or two, formation flying with their next of kin before bedtime. They finally approach the roost trees and make a production of settling down with much flapping.

The waxing moon sails like a kite above the houses waiting for night.

Now only the tree tops catch the sunlight, burnishing them a golden green or bronze for a precious moment before all is bathed once again in shadow.

All creatures and rooted beings who make their living here take their essential place in the web of life.

Our Earth turns and the sun sinks below the horizon. Time to rest and settle. Time to watch the stars come out.

Reweave the Web of Life

Tender green shoots reach toward the sun. This is life on our home, Planet Earth. The seasons turn, spring follows winter, the earth revolves, night follows day. All life depends on these ancient cycles and rhythms that we have learned to trust and depend on.

Cottonwoods at dusk

But now the web of life has been severely disrupted, threatening human life on our home planet and creating vast imbalances that magnify pre-existing imbalances and injustices. This disruption is throwing life on our blue and green planet out of tune, off true center, out of kilter, creating untold misery.

The intricate web of life has kept our planet healthy and in balance for millennia, providing conditions for life under the sun and stars. Now the damage to our web is showing up with widespread sickness and death, magnifying the imbalances that provide rude shelter and meager food for billions, a basic existence for many, abundant food, water, good health and riches for some; vast unimaginable wealth for a few.

To help reweave the web of life, begin to rethink your definition of wealth. Let your new thinking inspire new actions.

What is more precious than clear unpolluted fresh air or a deep breath that is easily exhaled? The feel of sun or rain on your skin, the beauty of thriving evergreen trees, blooming grasses and flowers, songbirds building their nests, the sight of a thin crescent moon through bare tree branches? Happy and healthy children? The tastes and textures of a simple meal to be savored? The smile of a loved one? A warm home in winter? What is true wealth?

Evergreens

Can you simplify and downsize your life and still feel wealthy?

Rethink your definition of what is necessary for you to enjoy daily life. Rethink your definition of true health. That includes health for all who people this Earth, and all life forms that grow and live their lives here on land, in sea and air.

The disruption in the web of life on Earth will help to focus your human attention on what is precious, what is true in your life, what changes you wish to make, what you can do that will help all living beings reweave our priceless web of life in which all things are one.

Rethink your true purpose here. Go beyond the surface. Dig deeper in your thinking. Tune in to your heart and spirit, and ask to know your role in the web of life and your role in reweaving the web.

We are all connected as one. We are meant to thrive together in our interconnections, to live in harmony and balance.

We all create and experience the best of life and health together, or we stand by and witness the diminishment of our lives, our families our potential, and our spirits.

We must act with compassion to reweave and restore true balance in our web of life.