Nature, too, supports our personal blossoming (if we have any quiet exposure to her) through her spontaneities, through her beauty, power, and mirroring, through her dazzling variety of species and habitats, and by way of the wind, Moon, Sun, stars, and galaxies.
~ Bill Plotkin, Nature and the Human Soul
As Carl Jung repeatedly declared, our goal is wholeness, not perfection. People living soulcentrically are not untroubled or unchallenged. They are not beyond experiencing times of confusion, mistakes, and tragedies. They have by no means healed all their wounds. They are simply on a path to wholeness, to becoming fully human- with all the inevitable defects and distresses inherent in any human story and with all the promise held by our uniquely human imagination.
~ more from Bill Plotkin
Snow arrived here yesterday and stayed for several hours before turning to rain. We had almost a full day of quietude, when the hush of snow blankets the world. We had almost a full day of hiking and playing in the snow. About the time there was enough snow to break out my (cross-country) skis from their long slumber, the rain began and that was the end of that.
It began oh-so lightly, a few flakes falling here and there. The trees were given a light dusting and in time, the snowfall grew heavier and heavier until it became almost a white-out.
For me, the most important and meaningful things that have happened in my life have been the impossible things.
I know that when the most beautiful things have happened, I’ve had this sense of being pulled backwards through a door right behind me. In those moments all my plans, all my intentions, all my visualizations, all my wantings and desires and wishes don’t really count for anything because there’s something else that’s greater that’s in charge of us. Yet we are afraid of trusting that… and this is the problem.
So how can we handle this greater reality of inspiration, of the divine and the sacred, which we have pushed aside so much in our culture? It’s fine today to talk about Yogic philosophies or Buddhist deities, but what about the raw sacredness that gives us dreams in the night, that makes us behave unpredictably? What if all of that is the sacred?
When we deny the sacred we cannot handle ecstasy. We live in a totally fabricated artificial existence, and if we get a smell, a sniff, a hint of real ecstasy, we are afraid that it might destroy us. And that is a huge problem psychologically and collectively for us.
~ Peter Kingsley
I have this amazing relationship with snow, ice, and the winds of winter. Maybe it’s because I was born in December. I don’t know. What I do know is that winter contains incredible amounts of magic. That is probably true of every season. I can only be sure about winter because winter is the season I relate to as if it is my home. There is a dance and rhythm to the season, to the snows and winds.
Part of the grief I feel over climate change is the loss of winter as I’ve known it. Oh, I know that weather patterns change from year to year, place to place. This is different. This is the change that has happened over the last two decades as I’ve seen it around a pond in NE Ohio. (For those wondering, I can still keep an eye on the pond via my youngest son and his family who are renting the house and property from us.) This is a pond that used to be solidly frozen by Imbolc — the (approximately) halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox — that barely has a scrim of ice on it this year (or last year at this time or the year before that). This is decreased snowfall, year after year after year, from over one hundred inches of snow to barely a dusting. It’s also the change I’ve seen here on the Eastern Shore in the eight years we’ve lived in this area. Higher than usual tides, more sunny day flooding, the death of loblolly pines. The overall patterns have changed. In other words, the bigger picture is different rather than just a mild winter here and there.
This evening is the beginning of the celebration of Imbolc, celebrated from sundown tonight until sundown tomorrow. It is a festival that marks the beginning of spring even as we’re in the midst of winter, and was at one time widely observed in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. I’ve been exploring my roots/ancestors, most of whom come from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England (with a little peppering of Swedish and Eastern European thrown in), and the Mandala Magic course I’m taking moves through the Wheel of the Year (beginning with the Winter Solstice). I’m thinking about doing something to mark the occasion. To celebrate. There are still many reasons to do so. As Wendell Berry put it in a discussion with climate activist Tim DeChristopher:
That’s my argument in favor of this world, against the determinists. I depend on what I know of human goodness, but also on the flowers and the butterflies and the birds. The otters and the swallows — a lot of their life is just spent having a hell of a good time. The animals, so far as I can understand them, have a great deal to say in favor of life. It’s a good world, still.
I, too, depend on the flowers, the butterflies, the birds, and the snow and ice and beauty of winter, however it shows up.
Before I wrap this up, here’s a little joy (a video of the song “This Joy” by the Resistance Revival Chorus).
Thank you for stopping by today and visiting with me. The low that is spinning around might bring us more snow this evening. At the very least, it will bring us clouds. I mention this because it is unlikely we will see much of anything at sunset other than a darkening of the sky. Sunset is scheduled for 5:26 PM. I’ll meet you out at the dock if it looks as though there is something to see.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,711) Snow days. 1,712) Monkey bread. M has been baking again, and the monkey bread is such a treat. 1,713) Morning practice of movement, chant, and meditation. 1,714) Celebrating winter. 1,715) The possibility of another round of snow.