Celebrated by the Mayan culture as a symbol of renewal, the winter solstice arrives today in the northern hemisphere, and we are surrounded by the most literal darkness we will know throughout the rotation of an entire year. What, I wonder, will each of us use this time of inner looking to gift ourselves with?
I ask this question for many reasons. The first reason is inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s deservedly famed “Winter” (L’Inverno). One of my favorite compositions, and in fact, the music I hear when my phone rings as it helps me hustle to find my phone (listen to the video to know what I mean – the speed at which the violinist must play their instrument is astonishingly rapid), it is the last written line expressed that prompts great reflection,
“So it is the winter, but it also has great beauties.”With these words Antonio Vivaldi finishes his great creation, the cycle of the Four Seasons.
~Feel free to listen to the composition as you read today’s post~
What great beauty will you acknowledge, discover, embody on this once-a-year day?
My thoughts often go to gardening as I observe the weather each day, the changing of the seasons, and so as I often do, I appreciate Monty Don and his illustrative pics captured at his garden, Longmeadow, and today’s IG posting punctuate my reliance: “In a garden, there is always a future.”
There is always a future in each of our life journey’s as well. We are given opportunities to witness, to observe, to learn and then apply the wisdom discovered. It is not expected that we will, only opportunities to do so. We must choose to live our lives actively, with an open heart and mind. A hopeful heart, but not an expectant heart.
When we open our heart. When we dare to trust, as was talked about in yesterday’s now nearing the most popular episode of 2021 of the podcast, when we dare to be vulnerable whilst marrying our courage with boundaries, loving-kindness and integrity, the world opens up, and renewal of a wide range of sorts is possible in each of our lives.
How does renewal happen?
Yesterday Norman and I took a long snow-shoe venture into the woods. With six inches of newly fallen snow, light as a whisper, yet prompting an aerobic workout for us both as we broke trail, not a soul beyond our two heartbeats was in sight and for some time the snow kept gently falling. Magical and soothing calm cleared my mind (and prompted Norman to wonder when we were turning back, but he too loved the freedom of bouncing about in the snow). Nature in that moment provided comfort, clarity and a reminder of winter’s beauty, winter’s gift. Winter’s many gifts.
Who will you be today and moving forward?
When you look back on the yous of the past, you have unquestionably grown, changed, evolved. Let this year’s winter solstice remind you to renew the you you wish to be and shed the thought-patterns, the unhelpful defaults, the behaviors that don’t serve the you you can be. Take the time winter provides to be still, to explore and gather up your strength to strive forward with energy saved into a new year, an even better year than you can imagine, but hold with hope in your heart to unfold, because it can. You can be renewed.
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