Still, Still, Still

Christmas Season, First Snow, Bon Ivor 131Our first annual snowfall graced our Sunday (Bon Iver!), and we relaxed into being with the wonder of it. Huge flakes covered the trees and earth; the river, surrounded by white hills and flowing beneath the smoky gray sky, took on a brilliant silver sparkle, like a glittering ribbon threading through the landscape.

Snowy Sunday 044Winter is the season that calls me within, to slowly and gently review the journey of the dimming year and gestate the light with which my spirit will co-create the year to come. What gifts have served me well? Which have I neglected? How will I dance out my life in the new year? What are the triggers that hook me to harmful ways of being and what are the deep desires I ask of Spirit to further challenge and delight my heart? Am I tending my time, health, and relationships, respecting the treasures they are? Am I putting anything off because I’m afraid of failing? Or succeeding? Can I begin, alter, or renew a spiritual practice? Is my energy aligned and in communion with my beliefs, and do these translate clearly through my speech and actions?

Christmas Season, First Snow, Bon Ivor 111Last year, I wrote about my “hibernaculum,” the meditation room where I spend my deepening time each day. It becomes more deeply sacred to me in winter. As I wrote: The word “hibernate” is derived from the Latin word for winter (hiberno: I winter) and generates the wonderful noun “hibernaculum,” which, zoologically, is the place where an animal winters, and, botanically, is the protective bud or covering a plant uses to survive the challenges of dormancy. I love that the letters of the word “hibernate” form the anagram “breathe in,” for winter is my time for assessing, deepening, and strengthening my meditation practice and more earnestly tending my dreams.

Christmas Season, First Snow, Bon Ivor 158Nothing engenders these days of gentle and vital introspection more for me than the lovely snow that muffles the noise, busyness, and demands of a world too addicted to all three. When it’s snowing, traffic slows, heartbeats slow, breathing slows, and sometimes magically, the limiting need to avoid our inner voices and knots dissolves as well.

Christmas Season, First Snow, Bon Ivor 179Sitting in my meditation space and looking out towards a full moon making the snow-covered earth sparkle and glow with mystery, or witnessing the iced river and white hills afire with the deep violet, indigo and scarlet of a winter sunrise remind me that all of life is a magical gift, and that the finest way of offering my gratitude is through the inner work and discernment accomplished in stillness, that helps me be as present to all of it as I can.

Christmas Season, First Snow, Bon Ivor 003I wish you a winter of gentle peace, times for deep introspection, the stillness to bring forth your renewed light to the world, and gentle snow (real or imagined) to blanket you with the shimmering beauty and mystery of spirit-tending.

7 thoughts on “Still, Still, Still

  1. Thank you, Catherine for another beautiful post with blessings and good wishes to all. I was especially moved by the first two pictures, and couldn’t help but wonder what those orange orbs were around the tree, in the first picture. They reminded me of oranges, though that would not have fit the tree. But oranges do grow in this time of the year, in our country. Were they lights? Your description of the effects of the snow is beautiful too… and we have to be grateful, that despite all the attempts of man to overcome nature, it is wonderful to be slowed down by the weather, and forced to appreciate the changing seasons.

    • Thank you for your kindness, Shimon; you honor me so much by visiting and taking time with my words and heart…the orbs are lights from the Christmas tree (we ended up setting it up with lights and bows, to feel more festive and to see how Fergus would react) reflected in the window I was shooting “through.” The gray skies and falling snow seemed to go well with the reflection, for me.

      I soooo agree that it’s wonderful to be slowed by weather; I didn’t always understand this, but at this point in my life I welcome it, as I welcome the farmer’s tractor that slow down my car and allows me to feel gratitude for his work and gifts, so in rhythm with nature.

      A Blessed Hanukkah, Shimon!

  2. What an absolutely beautiful, poetical post, the words and images totally in harmony with one another.

    I couldn’t stop looking at that second picture, full of magic and mystery it is.

    I love the idea of your hibernaculum, and how you examine your practices and behavior there. A wonderful idea, one I may borrow.

    Ah yes, snow. How transforming it is, I too love it, Ordinary and even ugly things become works of art. I love all the seasons, but especially winter as it is the most dramatic and let’s us humans know that Mother nature is in charge. I love the way it slows life down too, taking us back to our roots and allowing a little time for reflection.
    I do enjoy your posts, always a treat for me.xxxxx

    • Thank you, Snowbird; perfectly stated: snow is transforming and slowly guides us back/down to our roots: I LOVE these images and your eloquence! Mother is definitely in charge; I wish we honored her more and listened more intently and respectfully, but I have hope. Peace to your day!

  3. A gentle snow is drifting down today. Not much, very fine, but none the less falling. It is too warm to amount to much, but so much fun to watch from my warm perch inside 🙂 After a good sized snow fall the hush that falls over everything is always so magical. It is the only thing that seems to have the power to create the hush. It is silent and deep and wonderful. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday full of magic and I hope peace and miraculous changes brought in by the 21st…We shall see. I have faith ! Blessings…VK

  4. Such beautiful thoughts, images, and words, Catherine; I love the idea of hibernate and breathe in being connected. Thank you for affirming the beauty of the season and the opportunities it presents; I rarely think of it that way, always impatient for the garden to return, so you have inspired me to reconsider the season. Thank you.

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