(I started writing this on 12/23…)
It’s just after Yule, before Christmas, the night of the Dark Moon. On my walkies this morning I meditated as the snow came down in thick flakes. For me, living in this landscape, Winter is one of the most magical clicks on the yearly wheel. Though the cold here can be intensely difficult, I have grown to not only appreciate the Death of the Year, I’ve grown to relish it. I feel weight lifted from me as the oppressive heat of August lifts, and when the sorrow that Autumn seems to hold in its windy arms gives way to release. Frozen ground, icy sidewalks, sloppy streets, blankets of grey over the sky, delicate snow dotting my nose and glasses. The silence is seriously golden during the Winter. In this noisy city, I adore the silence the snow brings, along with the gentle slush of cars going past.
Comforting, slow cooked foods. Crafts and fabrics and paper and potions. My crockpots infusing oils or making tender roasts, lattes in the evening, our snuggly fireplace keeping us and our fire-worshipping kitty toasty and warm. Winter reminds me of family, closeness, safety; all things I’ve had to struggle to hang onto. Winter here is about survival. It’s about death. We walk with Death here for over half the year, and in that deadness, we see the subtle transformations, the slight pulse of the land, and the life that survives here thrives. Canadian geese, pretty cardinals, tiny chickadees, coyotes, fox, deer, squirrels, hawks, eagles, wild turkeys, raccoons, beautiful black crows. These are all animals I get to see all winter long here in the city. These are all the brave ones who endure the long, dark, cold.