Saturday, February 26, 2011
I'd forgotten February winter. Some years these late winter days are mild, but often the season saves its biggest bite for the end. This is one of those years. We've had snow and more snow, and now the thermometer on the patio hovers at 20.
In spite of bright blue skies and even brighter sunshine, the air feels like acid. Ground crunches like broken glass underfoot. Exposed flesh reddens, numbs, then burns. Bones ache as layers of body and fabric do little to keep the cold from burrowing like some determined rodent.
More snow is predicted.
I've accepted the gifts of this dormancy, been grateful for the time of rest and recovery, been intentional about receiving each new day for the abundance of grace it has to offer. As my own inner life reflects with near perfect synchronicity the onward grind of this season of death, even recognizing the new life it reveals in the darkness, I find myself wondering when the rising of sap will explode into spring green leaf.
I am winter weary. Thinking enough is enough, and it's time to move forward. Thinking I'm ready - as cleansed and healed and rested as I need to be.
Then this morning as I stood outside at sunrise to bask in dawn's pink smile, surrounded by the deepest stillness possible, as though the air were so frozen no sound wave could move, a new awareness sparked. All around I could see that what had seemed stripped before by weeks of rain and wind and snow, was even more bare after days of brittle cold. What had seemed as revealed as it could be, stood more open and thus more ready to bear the fruits of a new season.
And even as winter offers its last burst of cleansing, my front lawn was full of robins yesterday afternoon, the air vibrant with their declarations of territory. The calendar says March is days away. My heart whispers, soon, soon enough. I draw the cold fire deep within, and trust it to burn away the last of my own dead leaves. I trust. I breathe. I abide.