It is too easy to dismiss this very long, very dark, very cold (In the northern part of the globe at least) season when everything skids to a rude end and collapses into lifelessness. Has death won? Look again. Winter is really where things begin. Beneath her icy quilt the silent land is dreaming of spring. Bulbs need winter to gain strength as they wait for the first thaw. I remember bringing home a packet of heather seed years ago that failed to grow. Though I passed the seed for specific times in and out of the refrigerator according to the directions, none of my doings could never mimic a Scottish winter. It has always impressed me how the rose of the highlands links arms with winter in a circle dance of thaw-harden-thaw that actually promotes growth.
We humans also retreat into some place of warmth in our hearts and minds during the earth’s winter and in the winters of jobs, careers and lifetimes in a massive, pensive moment of resting, rethinking, dreaming and planning. Naturally a slow time, winter is a magic season perfectly suited for healing, recovery and regaining from loss; where the reweaving of broken dreams and ideas for entirely new forms happens. Days are mercifully short and nights languidly extensive enough to work things out privately, away from summer’s blaring noise and frenzied activity. We do, because of our natural fear of darkness, periodically distract ourselves with gaudy, artificial glitter at this time. However, this is winter’s real work: making a quiet space for memory, analysis, evaluation and reformation. It is the time we stockpile deep wells of creative energy to fuel the ardor of the coming spring .