It is cold, windy, damp, freezing, snowy, muddy, humid, uncomfortable, challenging, solitary, disheartening, raw, harsh, tough, misty and … The list can go on and on … This is what I feel in winter and I wish I were an animal and could hibernate till spring, but I am a woman and can’t hibernate, strictly speaking. You might wonder then why I like it …
My winter adventure
I am an adventurous soul and I like my challenges, otherwise I wouldn’t have set off to Antarctica or started my flying training few years ago. In fact winter has some similar elements to Antarctica and flying. It is not an easy season and, like going to Antarctica or learning to fly, it is very challenging. It is definitely not for the faint hearted and you never feel you got there! There is always something new to learn, there is always another winter when you can feel a bit more uncomfortable and challenged. It is like life, it never allows you to feel accomplished, because in fact there isn’t an end to the journey. Winter is the best time to see the structure of things, as you see the trees all bare and skinny. The soft light of the sun seems to caress things rather than shine light on them and you can see all the details so well.
I love trees and I think in winter they reach the peak of their majesty and grace. They are like a nude, they become a piece of art. This is the way I feel in winter, a nude model who poses for an artist to paint my body on canvas or reproduce it in clay. All the embellishments go, the clothes go, they are not required any more and I can see myself naked as I was born. I can’t ignore the dead branches that need to be pruned, the dead leaves that are still hanging on to some twigs and will be blown away any moment by the next gale. It is useless to pretend, so just as well appreciate my curves and shapes.
I can see where my soil is dry and where it is moist, where it needs to be ploughed and where fertilized. This realisation is paralyzing at times, it freezes me and reduces my activities to the bare survival. My body shrinks, loses weight and becomes more passive to retain the energy inside to live.
Where is the nice part in all this?
When I push myself and go out and venture into nature, even if my body shrinks because of the temperature, my spirit expands and flies high. I can see my detours, where I am at on my journey, as when I fly I can see the landscape so much better than when I am on the ground. I feel alive when the cold wind blows on my face and I listen to its whispers. I feel renewed and cleansed when the rain catches me out and soaks me on my walks. I feel sacred when I watch the snow come down and make everything white and I feel ready to be reborn. I feel hope coming back in my soul when I watch the sun go down on the horizon and eternity feels just a step away. I always feel as a new person when I come back home from my rumbles and feel wiser than when I first went out.
Winter is such a precious time to ponder and feel the calm everywhere, the silence and go into the dark. I go into my darkness and explore all the recesses that I haven’t seen yet of my inner landscape. I face my fears, I look them in the face and make friends with them. This makes me feel whole and more human. My dreams become wild and never ending, vivid and tiring and I long for peace and quiet again. All feels like hard work and like hard work will bring its rewards later on. Patience is the secret in all this to be able to be victorious in spring. Winter makes me feel exactly like when I bleed and go into my ‘inner winter’. I long for rest, silence and sleep. I like staying in, warm up in front of the fire and dream …
How is your winter? How do you feel? I would like to read your comments and observations about either your outer or ‘inner winter’. There is always something new to learn, there is always another winter coming!