In Alberta we are living in deep winter this week. Temperatures are hovering around minus 30 Celcius, not taking windchill into account. The days are still short and the nights long. The dark, the stillness and quiet are at once reassuring and baffling.
This season is challenging to all of us and we respond accordingly. Unusual projects and expressions emerge. Maybe we find ourselves going to bed earlier or later. There is a brief time, while we are all suspended in the cold, where we tacitly understand that life as usual is on pause.
This time, in winter, is sacred. In the darkness we can sense everything and nothing together, the stillness so intense it is both confounding and life affirming. This is a most spectacular shade of winter. Listen for the quiet, it may not be this deep again for a year, or even two. And even then, who knows?
What do we know anyway? What can we count on? The sun will rise tomorrow. The daylight will be marginally longer than yesterday. In a week or so, the intensity of this particular spot of winter will certainly have lifted. In mere months, spring will gather us up in a purposeful rush and release us into the remainder of the year. But that’s later. Let us feel again into now. For now, the bitter cold and sacred stillness. The earth wordlessly calling us into repose. We accept. We gratefully accept.