Living Light by Laura Elliott
It happens every year of course—the wintry retreat of earth, pronounced by the new light of the December solstice. We pretty much take for granted the turning of the seasons. And they turn for a reason.
Every act of creativity has its rhythmic cycles, and earth is no exception—the sublime artist that she is. After a profusion of riotous color and bounty of harvest, she needs a rest. Winter is a welcome and needed pause for her renewal and regeneration in order to bear new fruit come spring.
Indeed Mother Nature has much to teach us when it comes to living a rhythmic life. Personally, however, I sometimes forget to live what I’ve learned—like ignoring my body’s call for sleep of an evening in the push to get something done. The next day I am then reminded of the importance of honoring the rhythms of my body, which holds the same wisdom as earth.
As rhythms go, once rest is taken, the morning rises for a new day, new ideas rise for attention, and new sprouts of green rise in the spring. But only after the pause. And our body, our work, our life pretty much lets us know if we forget.
My guess is that farmers and those that live close to the land, don’t easily forget. Being so in touch with the pulse of nature, I would guess that it comes quite naturally for them to adopt these rhythmic ways.
The way of winter is much about stillness. Yet there’s a dynamic inward growth going on all the while—quiet and subtle, rather than outward and obvious. I love it that trees grow their roots in the winter. It makes so much sense… reaching deep within for the life that sustains them.
The lover of metaphor that I am, I see how we too grow our own roots, not only in the season of winter that encourages us to slow down and go within, but also in those wintry times of our lives that can happen any time of the year. Times of loss, grief, and life transitions. We’re called to pause and allow more time for being rather than doing.
I recently became aware of the Hebrew word, Selah, which means “to pause.” It’s used throughout the Psalms at the end of a verse, inviting the reader to breathe in the words and allow a sacred pause. It’s such a beautiful word to borrow.
And so, may you indeed feel the call of winter inviting you to pause and know the light within ever more deeply. After all, we too are the sublime artists of our lives. Selah.