Winter is the time to turn inward, to slow down, to go fallow.

We know this. And we likely know that our culture of busy-ness makes tuning-in to the winter season’s call challenging, but this isn’t another post to admonish you out of busy-ness.

Just a nudge here-if you haven’t stored up some winter moments, the rising energies of spring may leave you lethargic, fatigued, slow to sprout, and even later to fruit and harvest come summer.

This time around, for me, the problem isn’t too much to do.

The problem is the UN-seasonal weather. I’m wondering if you’ve noticed that it IS winter.

you make the fire and I’ll show you something wonderful: a big ball of snow! Basho
you make the fire
and I’ll show you something wonderful:
a big ball of snow!
Basho

Until well into January, when Baltimore’s winter temperatures finally plummeted, we’d been treated to balmy days, migrating birds and spring-blooming quince.

Without the cold and grey, even shortened days were not enough to draw me often enough to curl up under an afghan with a good book and allow myself to go somewhat dormant.

Sometimes the cues, the markers, the signals change, and we unknowingly fall out of sync.

The cold and grey, have always reminded me what to do. This Friday in the north east, we’ll see twenty-four minutes more of daylight than just three weeks ago.

I know this: Only by allowing myself to arrive fully in winter (however it shows up) do I gift my body, mind and spirit the grace and gift of an interlude.

So, I’ve pared down my day-time commitments, jettisoned more than a few attractive outings – theatre, community sings, dance classes. And I’ve built more protection around my hours after nightfall for staring idly into the dark. All to let myself go more fallow.

Depending on where you live, you may have many more or fewer weeks of winter than here in the Mid-Atlantic.

Either way, to help you set aside and protect the moments you need to take your rest, so you can spring forward with the coming season, I invite you to pause with intention and

reach for

nourishment (try a pot of my favorite immune-supporting miso soup, friendship, conversation

soothing and cheering herbal tea (recipe below)

candle and firelight

or open up to

bare branches and long views through the trees

night-time hours resonant with stillness

grieving your losses

pared-down-to-the-bone clarity

TURN WITHIN, EXALE, SHIFT YOUR ENERGY DOWN A NOTCH OR TWO –

even while sitting at a red light, waiting in line, waiting for the water to boil

listen…

to the still small voice within

fall into the spaciousness of the HEART, that seasonal field

where we can meet, in Rumi’s words,

“out beyond right and wrong.”


 

An ALOP RecipeYoung and Restless Tea

Young and Restless Tea

One rounded teaspoon each of dried Chamomile, Linden Flower, and Elderflower, and one 1/4 teaspoon of dried Peppermint.

Pour 8 oz boiling water over the herbs.

Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes.

Strain, sip, inhale, enjoy to calm restlessness, help you (and a finicky digestion) rest, help you “manage.”

A plus for late winter sinuses and lungs: this tea is also a mild respiratory decongestant.

 

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