Winter is a very important time and concept in spirituality, and in the path of life, which is why it’s often used in tales also. Our knowledge of winter is kind of a fragment of childhood; internal, innate and intuitive. We learn about it in magical ways from stories and fairy tales read when we are tucked in warm at home; we learn about it from the squishing of our boots in the snow, the mysticism of the moonlit and starry nights, and the anticipation of Christmas eve.

It’s a knowledge set in snow, and it is almost alchemical.

We see animals endure the cold foodless months, we see the limitations, the hibernations, the migrations, and the bared branches of the trees asking us for absolute honesty. All these changes we witness are kind of an alchemy, because in winter we witness the pure strength and courage of spirit, the endurance and the faith and trust. It’s no easy thing. There’s no pretense in winter; there is nowhere to hide, nothing to deny. We adapt. We prepare. And sometimes we perform extraordinary acts to get through.

It’s a knowledge, and it’s a wisdom; and it’s trust, all gained in snow. And this is when we see what we are truly made of. We see how far we’d go to help someone who needs us even if we have nothing to gain from it; and we see how far we’ll go to warm a little swallow or care for a squirrel, who may not even be able to thank us at all, and yet we’ll go and care for it, even when we think there is absolutely no chance for her. Because that’s who we are. It’s a strength, and faith and love, gained in snow.

Winter is a wisdom, and it is necessary. No matter how many straight and direct paths we want to build with concrete and highways, the real paths of life are full of twists and turns. And all has its timing. There are clocks beyond the man made human clocks, with hands unclockable, unstrikeable by us. There are seasons, and there are cycles. But we can’t push seeds into the frozen ground in winter; flowers will not bloom, it is not their time yet. We’ll only hurt them, and we’ll frustrate ourselves.

Winter shows us the way of trust – that even when we can’t yet see it something it doesn’t mean it isn’t there, for there is so much weaving beyond the veils, and in the undergrounds. And when it’s time it’s time. We’ll see it. It will reach its hands through the soil, tempted by water, tempted by air, it will reach its hands for merging. Snow drops. Spring flowers, little grass, one by one by one. All the nurturing along the way led to this.

Winter teaches the ways of life, and shows us who we are internally; this is why it is associated with the spiritual body – because we turn within, and because there is not much outside now to distract us. We learn the timing of the land, and of our life, we learn to walk with kindness and patience of rhythm. We learn not to distract ourselves and what the necessities are – beyond the instant gratifications.

We live in a world full of more, more, more – more things, more possessions, more distractions – it’s a selfish, ungrateful and materiliastic world. Limitless options, limitless partners, limitless things – yet nothing is fulfilling. The endless desires and wants for more essentially numb us as human beings. There is wisdom in understanding we are actually very limited. Time is limited, and our bodies too are limited – we have skin and bones and live within this. There are only twenty four hours in a day – we can’t stretch that. And it is precisely if we learn the limitations, and being grateful for them, that we expand from within.

We learn the wisdom of the present moment, we learn nurturing – to tend to that which is beside us. We become creative and we connect to our spiritual core. We learn trust – because we see just how amazing life is and always is, and we learn surrender; we learn to open our palms and see that we can held by life. We learn gratitude, and we learn humbleness and humility – and these are the bridge to love.

And we see what moves us.

What turns us and moves us back into our sphere of being, back to the great mystical dance that joins us to our home and heart, to each other and the little animals – it is love. And it’s not some abstract or new age or social media over-used word “love” that is thrown around without any substance to it in its body – it is a particular love for particular things, people and places, that moves us, requiring of us acts and gestures in tangible ways with tangible effects. It is a real love.

And this real love, this real moving, implies a certain level of responsibility rising out of generosity. Only the hands and acts moved by love for the good of another become generous and responsible. And such hands can never freeze – because they move across seasons, lands, cycles and touch others’ hands and little animals along the way. And then they hold more love, more hands, more togetherness.

For more of my writings, browse through my Art of Love.

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Cover art by Claude Monet, Lilacs in the Sun, 1872.

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