“Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!” Absolute silence enveloped me except for the sound of my boots on the hard packed snow. I quickly shoved my gloved hands deep into my jacket pockets as I didn’t want my fingers to get frost bitten. With a scarf wrapped tightly around my neck, mouth and nose, and my wool hat on, I was fairly comfortable while walking my dog despite the frigid -8 degree temperature at ten in the morning.
Not only was it completely silent, void of the usual birds chirping, squirrels scampering up and down pine trees, and neighbor’s dogs barking, but there was a deep stillness in the forest. The trees frosted with ice and snow didn’t move an inch as if they were glued in place by the coldness. Touching a branch with pine needles, some broke off, they were so brittle. Even the color of the clear sky was dull, silver-like, rather than it’s normal bright azure blue. I didn’t witness another being (human or animal) on my walk, as all were taking shelter. My soul reveled in the deep stillness and silence surrounding me.
During the last couple of months, I had withdrawn and taken shelter due to the emotional storm I was facing. Not only was I grieving yet another early miscarriage, but both of my pets, my “babies,” experienced a decline in health. Rennie, my ten-year-old dog, injured herself and was unable to walk. Devastated, I thought we were going to have to put her down. Then, my eighteen-year-old cat, Buckwheat, became gravely ill and didn’t eat for four days. It happened so quickly, I wasn’t prepared to say “goodbye”.
As I grieved, I found myself feeling drained of energy, lacking in passion and creative inspiration. My vital life force became dormant like the frozen scene above. In the stillness it appeared nothing was happening, but, deep down inside I was healing. Seeds were being planted for new life to spring forth when the season was ready to change.
Just as surely as winter turns into spring, both Rennie and Buckwheat healed from their ailments and my joy returned. Writing in a coffee shop in Evergreen, only a week after our cold spell, it was sunny and in the mid-forties. The snow melted quickly as water ran from the roof of the building. Similarly, my energy and creative inspiration awakened from its winter slumber as my writing began to flow once again.
As we learn to trust the constant movement of these ever-changing seasons of our lives, we can relax into and accept whatever season we are in. For even in the darkest and coldest of seasons, new creation is gestating, waiting to be born.
“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.”
– Sarah Ban Breathnach, Author
“… And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields; And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.” – Kahil Gilbran (1883 – 1931)
“When you say ‘yes’ to the ‘isness’ of life, when you accept this moment as it is, you can feel a sense of spaciousness within you that is deeply peaceful.”
– Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks
“The Gods in bounty work up storms about us that give mankind occasion to exert their hidden strength, and throw into practice virtues that shun the day, and lie concealed in the smooth seasons and the calms of life.” – Joseph Addison (1672 – 1719)