According to the Chinese Calendar, on November 7th each year the 3-month season of Winter begins. But last week in Washington, DC it was 75 degrees which makes it a difficult moment to talk about and prepare for the coming season. But today when I went outdoors it was 47 degrees and I was properly clothed for Winter and ready to initiate this conversation.
Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and I savor the chance to look at the bare bones of branches and trunks. In the casual staring at them I feel my own energy going inward to a quieter place where I don’t want to speak. I find I need a peaceful existence. Why might you ask, do I speak of a more peaceful existence during a pandemic time when we can hardly spend time out or with other people? Aren’t we already as quiet as life allows?
Even during this separateness, we can go to a quieter time with more meditation and stillness. It requires that we sleep more, and gently accept what we can and can’t do as we need to go deep and learn to receive or what we might call ‘yin’ time in Chinese Medicine. Without the proper rest we can’t build up our resources to understand that we always have enough, or we can create enough. I find it as a nesting period through which we can develop the capacity to find faith in whatever comes next.
The element associated with the Winter is the Water Element. Water can fill any container, can be fluid running through mountain streams, can be snow and ice, and then melt to water the land. Water brings renewal and cleansing. The calm lakes reflect the trees and moon and stillness and silence surround the same deep waters.
I invite you to embrace this coming season. See what inspires you during these longer nights. Invite the dreams that you make become real. And when you look at the still water to find your reflection, truly look to your depths. Much joy will follow you in this Winter Wonderland.
On Friday morning I woke very early and went out when it was still really dark. The full moon/ blue moon felt so close down the hill that I thought I could walk into it. It was inspiring and awesome. I gasped at it, even with a mask on, and told the dog to look up at it even though his nose was properly to the ground. I felt the light enter every cell in my body and just wanted to suspend time and enjoy the pause.
This time period is so unique, yet filled with out of balance energies. We have a pandemic that keeps people apart (by necessity). Groups are pitted against each other in every imaginable way. People are boarding up buildings in preparation for violence after the election. The anxiety and apprehension are high. I’m tired of this.
Believe me, I’m no Pollyanna. I have a very strong sense of the dark side that is in each of us. And I think that there is a balance between the dark and the light, the yin and the yang, even between fear and courage. I feel an urge now to stand up for balance in life. I long for a deeper calm and a rekindling of a connection to the healing power of nature.
For the past 37 years, I’ve explored, and experienced the calming of the extremes of life. I needed it when I was in my twenties. I changed my life from being a political activist to living within the possible spiritual reality. I was angry at the outside world due to how I felt inside myself. But I calmed down my nervous system and dealt with what I refer to as my emotional backpack. I did acupuncture, meditation, explored many spiritual traditions, and found Qigong. Balance is an ever-available possibility.
We need the positive guiding us and not fear and hatred. We must care for one another. Do whatever you can to stay in your hearts no matter what happens. As one of my friends reminded me, “We were born for these times”. But let’s go forward caring for one another. All we need is love. Pay attention to your needs. Look to nature for inspiration and healing. That’s all I have to say.