Winter Thoughts

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“Winter here is a demanding season-and not everyone appreciates the discipline.  It is a season when death’s victory can seem supreme: few creatures stir, plants do not visibly grow, and nature feels like our enemy.  And yet the rigors of winter, like the diminishments of autumn, are accompanied by amazing gifts.

One gift is beauty, different from the beauty of autumn but somehow lovelier still: I am not sure that any sight or sound on earth is as exquisite as the hushed descent of a sky full of snow.  Another gift is the reminder that times of dormancy and deep rest are essential to all living things.  Despite all appearances, of course, nature is not dead in winter-it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for spring.  Winter is a time when we are admonished, and even inclined to do the same for ourselves.

But for me, winter has an even greater gift to give.  It comes when the sky is clear, the sun is brilliant, the trees are bare, and first snow is yet to come.  It is the gift of utter clarity.  In winter, one can walk into woods that had been opaque with summer growth only a few months earlier and see the trees clearly, singly and together, and see the ground they are rooted in.”

-Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak pg. 101

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