Photo by V. Barry Embree
The stillness of winter.
Sometimes finding that quiet stillness within us is our highest and greatest aspiration. In the winter it comes to us unabashed, blowing in with all it’s snowy might. I find myself walking through the snow with it crunching beneath my feet and feeling peaceful and calm. There is something so awing about the hoar frost in the morning, our foggy breath in the cold air and the general frigidness of it all. Winter is a force to be reckoned with. The winter months used to be a dreadful occasion I thought, something to just get through. But now, winter is something different. It is a time to go inward, to reflect, create and feel strong. A time to recognize the power of the great winter that lives inside of us and to embrace that power. That power of winter is within all of us. That strong, silent power to guide and create the future that we want. Just like the snow guides the drifts in to stunning peaks, our internal winter can carry us to great heights if we just let it.
I think of our internal winter as our dark side, the one that many of us have difficulty facing. It’s hard to face things that we don’t like about ourselves, plain and simple. But realizing that it is in all of us, that no matter how happy a person seems they too have a dark side, can make it a lot easier to face. The next few months can be spent planning, reading, creating, doing whatever exercise feels good for us, eating nourishing and warm foods and getting back in touch with ourselves. Or, it can be spent resisting the cold winter air and being forlorn. The choice is always ours.
On the farm, there is always much to do in the summer time. There’s grass to cut, endless weeds in the garden and produce ready left and right. There’s seeding and and harvest and everything else in between that goes along with grain farming. It is a bountiful and joyous time, but also a tiring one. The stillness of winter brings a time to focus on growing internally rather than growing things in the outside world. This is a time for us prairie farming folk to rest and prepare so that we can once again come to nature in the spring and grow beautiful things.
In the stillness of winter, may we all find that peaceful strength that lives within.