Often people tend to assume that, since I grew up in Greece, summer must be my favorite season. It is true that warmer weather is easier on my body and feels more natural. Yet, summer is not my favorite season. I find extreme heat and humidity unbearable.
The New England winters are no picnic either. I don’t enjoy being cold, and bundling up, in layers upon layers of heavy clothing, is something I had to get used to.
Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons. In the Spring, I love watching everything come alive. The gardener in me is filled with anticipation and excitement. As for Fall … who can resist the colorful show the trees put on in New England?
There is something though about the change of seasons that I find soothing. Through the years, I have become well aware of how my inner rhythm is in tune with seasonal changes.
Winter draws me inwards, and its stillness nourishes the introvert in me. Days are short, nights are long, social activities slow down, and I am called to my silent “den.” During this period of quietude, I can rest, reflect, heal, and dream of possibilities.
In silence we discover ourselves, our actual presence to the life in us and around us.
When we are present, deeply attentive, we cannot be busy controlling. Instead we become beholders — giving ourselves up to the mystery of things.
We become more willing to let things be.
And, as a consequence we can also let ourselves be.
Through silence our days are illumined — like rooms filled with light — so we may inhabit our lives.
Silence is our deepest nature,
our home, our common ground,
from SHARING SILENCE
by Gunilla Norris
Back in December, I participated in a class on Writing Into and Through the Winter Season. I loved being with this wonderful like-minded group of people. It was during that class that I was able to express how unsettled I’ve been feeling this winter.
There is an ambiguity hovering like thick fog … a stubborn resistance to wintering all around me. It’s as if the world hangs in the balance, unsure about its identity and sense of purpose, hell-bent on noise, conflict, and uncertainty.
Temperatures can’t find their rhythm, the air feels warmer than usual, the grass is still green, and the daffodils are peeking through a ground that is not yet frozen. My garden is dormant, the trees are bare, and yet there are mornings when I can hear the birds singing. It’s February … In New England!
Regardless of how we feel about winter, our bodies respond to the rhythm of the seasons. When the seasons are off balance, we feel it.
We are almost at the mid-point of winter. I keep listening for the familiar silence of the season but can’t hear it. As a result, I haven’t been able to settle into the winter rhythm and rituals.
The other night though, I woke up before dawn and went downstairs to the kitchen for a glass of water. It must have been around 3:00 am. I looked outside the kitchen window, and there it was, a dark, dark sky illuminated by myriad stars. I stayed there, looking up, still and quiet, and then I sensed it … the silence I’d been searching for.
It was a special moment and I am grateful to have been present for it.
As you read about my personal experience this winter, what came to mind for you?
How have you been feeling? Is there anything that makes you feel unsettled?
Scroll down to the comments and share your experience with us.