Sunday, March 17, 2013
The Lessons of Winter
Winter has been one of the seasons with which I have had the most struggle. Because I have always found the outdoors a place where I spend so much time, almost as another room in my home, having a season where I was disconnected from that place, from that room, has always been difficult. Of course, the weather has never been so cold that I could not spend time outdoors, but the weather is cold enough that one cannot spend time outdoors for very long. And there is not much to do in the garden with all of the garden dwellers taking their winter nap--resting for that graceful emergence in spring. Things always appear so dull and lifeless. And the only time I could see the beauty of the winter landscape was when the snow covered everything in its sparkling and magical coat. In my neck of the woods, the snow does not appear often nor remain for very long. So, I would spend much of my winter indoors separated from the room which I love so dearly and long for so much.
Beth of Plant Postings hosts Lessons Learned for all the seasons, and so I offer some lessons learned about winter.
Nature has always provided me with a place where I feel closest to spirit. Since I was a child and I found solace among the trees at the end of the day, nature has been my cathedral. The birds sing joyful hymns, and the trees knock together bass bell sounds as the wind caresses their branches. The leafy forest floor is my pew, and the majestic colors of flora are the stained glass windows. All around me in the forest and in my garden is the wonder of divinity. In the winter, I am not able to spend a lot of time in this sacred place.
In recent years, I have come to appreciate winter--taking the lead from nature to rest, to gather my strength for the activity of upcoming seasons. And I look at winter's landscape in a much different way than I did many years ago. I see so much more of the beauty in that sparsely decorated vista of winter. Sometimes there is a great elegance in things when they are stripped of all the outer coverings, all the decorative wrappings--leaving a bare and stark vulnerability.
Many years ago what I saw in the winter landscape was death and lackluster interest. The gray and brown was bleak and sad, and I had no desire to look at it unless it was covered in the white crystals of snow. As years have passed, I see it all so differently. I see the branches as they shift and curve and intertwine. I see the architectural shapes and towers, reaching and extending like a painter's brush gently sways across the canvas. The subtle shades of gray and brown and black splatter across the forest with beauty, melding together to create a starker, yet gentle, flow of lines and arches and bends. I am quite enamored by it all now, and see the depth of elegance in the trees as they grow up and outward--all hidden when leaves are present.
I am now able to accept the season of winter with all of its subtle interest and soft whispers. I have learned to be grateful for the slowing of pace and for having the opportunity to see what I cannot see in other seasons. Mostly, I think I am grateful to live in an area where I can experience the depth of the four seasons so perfectly.
Donna of Gardens Eye View looks forward to celebrating the seasons with Season Celebrations. And with a few more days left in winter, spring has already shown signs of emergence.
After a long season of savoring the refined grace of winter, it is time to celebrate and be awed by the color and youth of spring.
Spring bursts out with such fervor and beauty. It reminds us of all the things that life can offer, such as innocence, joy, creativity. We cannot walk out of our door without seeing its smile in the abundance of flowers, the gushing buds, or the drenching of color. And that smile can only bring us to smile. May you have a very happy spring!
© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter
Posted by The Sage Butterfly