Woven Together

“There are moments when the heart is generous,

and then it knows that for better or worse our lives are woven together here,

one with one another and with the place and all the living things.”

― Wendell Berry

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(sunrise on new fallen snow Nov. 28, 2014, photo by me)

December, the month of the Winter Solstice. Much, but not all of Nature sleeps or slows down. Nights are longer. The air is cooler. By instinct we move inward. It is a time when quiet and stillness come naturally. On the Wheel of Life, winter is the season of rest and preparation for renewed life, similar to how some animals go into hibernation.

Winter is a time of allowing yourself to be softer, quieter. To listen more, to speak less. A time to observe and see the sparkling stars after the sun has set. To see the absolute beauty of the bare, stark branches of the trees against the azure winter sky. It is a time to remember our lives are intertwined with the rhythms of Nature.

For better or worse, as Wendell Berry writes, our lives are woven together. There is no way to say it is not so. We may forget or try to deny, but when the heart is generous, we know.

Our horizons can shrink and creativity can seem to diminish when we forget our inter-connectedness. The compassion and empathy of our common humanity ebbs when we forget that we are woven together.

With the turning of the seasons, the rebirth of light after the darkness of the Solstice, we do have the ability, with continued disciplined practice, to construct new patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior.

So, let’s do it!! Let’s work with the turning wheel of Nature and life and set out on a quest to see, feel, hear and think differently. Release resentments and regrets. Turn from fear and anger to tolerance and understanding. Grow in empathy and compassion. Let apathy turn towards action. Allow hopelessness and routine to soften and be infiltrated by hope and purpose. It can be in any part of your life. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, as long as it is important to you.

As you prepare for whatever Festival of Light you celebrate, religious or not, maybe just go outside one night and look up at the stars. Or go outside when it is snowing and close your eyes to hear a snow flake land on a soft bed of fresh snowfall. Look at your partner, your child, your friend, sibling, parent, without speaking, and see and hear them. This is a time for reflection and renewal. A time for mending and strengthening our common threads so the weaving of our connected-ness can grow.

“There are moments when the heart is generous,

and then it knows that for better or worse our lives are woven together here,

one with one another and with the place and all the living things.”

Let this be the season of the generous heart for all of us.

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