Prairie Seasons

Now the grasses and wildflowers, brown and gray after the first hard frost, heavy with seed, begin their long sleep under winter’s blanket.  Another year’s growth now dying back, dropping seed onto my dark and ancient soil.

Growing like a riot in the hot and sunny seasons, reaching to the sun, rooting into the earth. Dancing the ancient dance of life on this planet!

Remembering summer, not long past, as our magnificent tall and slender grasses waved in the wind, soaked in the strong sunlight of the endless summer days.

Tall prairie grasses

Remembering the exquisite opalescent skies at dusk.

Remembering our roots reaching deep into the earth to anchor us and draw in nourishment. Remembering our huge network of interwoven roots holding the soil as the storms blew through the rains washed over and pounded our grasses almost flat.

Our deep roots giving grasses taller than a man stability on their slender stems, the strength and resilience to flex and sway with the constant summer breezes, the great masses of big bluestem undulating like waves on the sea, in constant motion.

Here is abundant life in summer! Any bit of open soil claimed by another fallen seed. This beautiful land, a variegated community, a web of growth.

I am home to furbearers, insects of all descriptions, frogs, turtles, snakes, songbirds, birds of prey. Our summer prairie teems with life, teems with promise.

Redwing blackbird

Now in late fall a time of rest as the sun turns its face to the south, draining warmth from the land.  Now  we fold our tents, burrow deep, send life down into our roots, slow our breathing and hearts to sleep awhile, out of the freezing cold.

Wildflower seedheads

Our summer has been a riot of color, growth, raucous birdsong, feeding butterflies, burrowing mice, dancing green grasses, blooming wildflowers. 

And now it is our season to rest and renew ourselves for next year’s gathering, our exuberant celebration of life under the huge dome of sky and light that gives us life.

Inner winter

In winter, the ice and snow and wind keep you snug at home, keep you separate in your warm wrapping of sweaters and blankets, down comforters and scarves. The roads and walks can be dangerous with slippery ice and packed snow. It can send you humans reeling and sliding with no warning… so you stay at home.

Grandmother Cottonwood in snow

I ask you, is there a winter in your heart that keeps you isolated and separate from others? Does this inner winter cause you to fear venturing beyond the confines of the known, the familiar, the safety of your known world?

You can turn this inner winter to spring. As you heal, you can thaw the frozen thoughts and beliefs, have patience until the poor visibility clears. You can get yourself unstuck from deep snowdrifts and move forward. You can begin to melt the ice within you that keeps you isolated and alone.

Have patience dear one, the spring thaw takes time as the weather gradually warms. When the earth is no longer frozen, the runoff permeates the thawed soil bringing new life to the earth, new hope and growth.

The deep freeze will soon be over, and you will regain your flexibility ease and flow.

Have you been touched by frost?

Late autumn frosts come with lace edged beauty, cruelly cutting down grasses and wildflowers, insects, tender life forms. But frost cannot destroy those living perennial roots deep underground that sleep in their dark bed of soil.

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Frosty wildflower leaves

If you have lived more than a few decades on this planet, you have known the icy fingers of frost. You have experienced the tender green shoots of life frozen by loss, hurt, trauma, betrayal…

When you fear all is lost after a freeze, life springs again from your roots, sending green shoots and leaves toward the light.  New life and growth and inspiration gives you new energy, new hope and courage to reclaim your power.

If your heart still beats in your chest, your roots can gather strength and you will live fully once again.

Dear one, you must have patience and allow the season of winter its full due. Take heart. Winter is a season of life, a part of each soul’s journey no matter where you live.

If you’ve been touched by frost, let yourself rest, conserve energy, let your roots gather nourishment and strength . Come spring you will feel and know the new growth within you, unfolding, reaching toward the light, inspiring you to live fully!

New beginnings

The planet tilts, the sun returns, winter will merge into spring once again in its own sweet time.

Under the frozen ground life takes a nap, hibernates, gathering energy, living off last year’s fat.

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Winter cottonwoods

 

You too need times of rest, time to go underground, to let go and recharge your life force.

You who live in warm weather all year, remember to take time to give yourself the luxury of a little “winter” retreat.

Just rest a bit from your endless pushing and striving and wanting and buying and doing. Recharge and renew yourselves, body, mind, spirit, emotions.

Rise up into the strengthening light with new energy and passion and inspiration to greet the life giving sun.  Give yourself the gift of a new beginning.