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  • Writer's pictureJordan Hogan

Winter



Feeling crystalized beneath layers of wax, my body creaks and groans with each movement, as it begins to recall what it feels like to come alive. The frost that has engulfed my being melts slowly in the afternoon sun, bringing warmth and a glowing overture to the barren landscape.


Like a statue, I have remained frozen to the tundra below, awaiting with bated breath the sweet sounds of spring. Trusting in the process of a winter’s need to ground me and allowing the cold to remind me of what lies deep beneath the frost and icicles that look like they’re made of candle wax.


This is the ultimate season of change. Transition is apparent in every mile of frozen ground and every tree committed to stillness by layers of impenetrable ice.


“Be still,” the Mother says.

“Be still and wait.”


I can imagine the tree feels much like I do in these moments. Restless. Stuck and frozen in place by layers of ice disguised as nightmares it can’t break through. Itching to know what comes next. Vacillating between acceptance of the way, the natural progression of this life-sustaining cycle, and complete mental agony at the inability to know exactly how it will survive this season and move successfully into the next.


“That is not for you to know,” Nature’s divinity whispers lovingly to the tree and the frozen landscape surrounding me.


The tree has no choice but to trust. It cannot fight the greater forces of nature that have placed it in this wintery state of death. It must know innately from the deep recesses of its being that with the passage of time comes a rebirth. It is the ultimate test of faith in universal power and trust in divine timing.


Each day, I question the natural progression of time, my place in this spinning world, and with each question comes the answers in the form of soft, sweet whispers awoken by the stirrings of my soul.


How do we find an equilibrium between action and stillness in a time filled with so many questions?


How can we quiet the mind long enough to hear if it is time to move, or if we must simply wait?


How does nature know when to be still in the full expansion of winter and when it is time to open once again?


How do we as fallible, sometimes disconnected human beings open to the stillness without the gripping fear of the ego clawing at our consciousness, revealing terrifying realities that reside only in our imagination?


This prison guard in the mind seeks to keep us frozen in time long past the moment of Spring’s arrival. This fear could keep us here forever if we let it continue to penetrate the serenity of the quiet within.


The tree knows to blossom because it is innately connected to its Source. It never questions when she whispers sounds of songbirds into its branches, never pauses when it’s told to come alive and stretch its branches toward the sun’s welcoming rays once more.


Humans are another story. We are chained to a mind equipped with free will and the ultimate choice, whether to let go or exert meaningless control, using up priceless energy stores to question a divine plan far beyond our comprehension. Whether to open ourselves to the light or remain in the cold, unforgiving land that we’ve outgrown but is, at least, familiar.


Which will we choose, me and the tree?


Will we learn to get out of the way and allow?


Will we ground ourselves in the knowledge of a plan divinely inspired by a power so much greater than ourselves, or will we allow the mind to run haphazardly, consuming us in worst-case scenarios, keeping us forever chained to a wintry self-made prison?


In the transitory times, there is no sure answer except to follow to guidance of nature in winter, to wait. Go within. Sit IN the stillness without expecting an immediate answer and a step-by-step plan laid out like a road map.


The key lies in the listening.


As the tree sits, suspended in time by frozen bits of snow and ice, it waits. It listens. It becomes rejuvenated by the winter’s sparkling beauty, soaking in all that it needs to break open when it’s time. The tree does not decide when it is time. It follows the Mother’s divine timing. Higher universal power bubbles up from its roots and makes a life-giving declaration.


NOW.


And with this whisper, Spring begins.


The tree does not fight to be free of the season in which it finds itself. It does not question the season or try to figure out why this time in its existence looks the way it does or feels so cold or is not transpiring in the way the tree has envisioned.


It follows the flow of nature and endures the small discomforts that come with change necessary for its growth. It trusts, fully and completely, the revolution that lies in its branches and its soul and allows its connection to the divine to create its future.


In the fall of our lives, we shed the pieces of ourselves that no longer serve us. We allow nature to take the things that have died within us, the things that begin to cause us pain if we do not let go. We send these dead leaves into the earth with love and gratitude, for the purpose they have served. We would not be transitioning into new versions of ourselves if not for these pieces that are now becoming old and crisp and falling away.


We then become exposed, feeling naked and vulnerable as we lose the leaves that have given us so much protection and identity in the past. This vulnerability, our beings naked to the elements, and the uncertainty of what our lives- our selves- will look like in the future cause a dissonance within that can produce fear and the activation of the ego to attempt to control the outcome of a situation beyond our comprehension.


In these moments, we must trust Mother Earth's power and the universe's light to nurture our beings until it is time for the next step. This is the most difficult part of changing seasons within our souls. And yet the tree makes it look so effortless.

“Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you,” Eckhart Tolle says.

The tree surrenders to the fact that it does not know when its leaves will return or when a new season will shine its warmth upon its ice-ridden branches. It simply IS. At peace in the unknown, a stoic example of the freedom that comes with allowing a progression of a spiritual timing to ensue, instead of being overtaken by the urgency of the human mind.

Being still in the unknown is the beginning of the transformation and an essential part of this soul-fueled journey. Growth simply cannot be accomplished any other way.


So, if you are like me and you are staring down an unfamiliar road with spotty cell reception between yourself and God, give yourself a moment.


Be still and know.


Know that every moment along this tumultuous journey is perfectly aligned with the timing of the divine. Trust that nature’s breeze will move a song in your heart when it is time to lift yourself from your current, aging surroundings. You will know when it’s time to stand, come out of winter’s long hibernation, and trudge toward your shining destiny once again.


*Listen to those sacred whispers, and quiet your racing mind long enough for them to show you the way.


*Follow that sweet melody of Spirit, always moving through your branches, even in times of frozen nothingness.


*Be a part of the richness of the earth, the soil, the wind sweeping through, bringing a new day and a new season and a new awakening in its breadth.


*Let it all unfold into the most stunningly vibrant tapestry that only something as powerful as God, Spirit, Universe, the Source of all that IS, can create.


*And be present in the extraordinary journey. Because as we all know in the deepest parts of our beings, it is in the journey that we inevitably find all that we have been searching for. The gems lie in the darkest parts of the adventure, waiting to be recognized as the powerful lessons they provide to our souls.


*In the darkness of the winter’s landscape, we, the trees, lean in and finally find what we’ve been searching for all along…


The Light.


The connection.


The purpose for Being.


May we all seek to be like the trees that sway and bend through the changing seasons of this life, ever grounded in our truth, and ever stretching our branches toward the light that is our beacon forward on this long and winding journey.

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