For many gardeners in northern climates, a sad day of the calendar year is the first frost, which perennially turns the lights off on the gardens that have been labored in, photographed, enjoyed, and shared since Spring. To the observer; the flowers and leaves wither; the stems truncate; and vitality seemingly disappears overnight— we move from Perpetua to Luna in the drop of a bead of mercury. Every year around this time, my mood dissipates as a response to the realization that the rhythms of my life are going to change, and certainly, daylight saving time change adds to the angst. Maybe the pandemic now offers me further capacity to look beyond the shortened days, reduced color palettes, and sea of botanic skeletons, and witness something magically different. For some of us, we know in our heads that Spring will triumphantly return despite the increased darkness, reduced sensory stimulation, and/or dormancy. Wintering is about moving from the mind’s perpetual judging to the heart’s experience, of being, and plants help me do this. “How?”, you may ask? Plants can teach us about wintering in our lives, if we pause, and witness almost imaginably what is happening beneath the soil, snow, leaves, rocks, and mulch. The elaborate root systems of plants are growing, despite what is not seen. They are fortifying their immune system; increasing their ability for photosynthesis, flowering, and fruit production; and enhancing their circulatory systems to feed themselves and us in this exquisitely complex process. This underground operation is happening because plants are no longer able to spend the energy above ground to do what they normally do— feeding the roots through photosynthesis, attracting pollinators, and reproducing. Perhaps this season of wintering is an invitation to do as they do. It is an invitation turn off the show lights, slow down our demands on ourselves to show up (off?), and redirect energy to being better rooted. What are rooting experiences that we may explore and experience as we winter? For many, this may be soulful walks with a good friend in the forest, more consistent meditation/prayer, quieter moments with books and a journal, naps, and/or time spent in solitude. These are experiences that enable us to go deeper and explore the kind of growth that not only feed us, but gives us the resilience to spring forward to meet the challenges of busy lives.. Winter is a necessary season for all beings; we can choose how we respond to her calling.
Wintering – Of gardens and lives
Posted December 15, 2021 0 Comments