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.