Saturday, February 20, 2010

The trees, shrubs and herbs also have taken the energy that they have in the past contributed to charming the outer world and have drawn it deep inside of themselves where they anchor it in their roots, underground.

The day gives in to night so quickly now that it seems like we miss having any evening at all. That same darkness holds out late into the morning. I find it contrary to wake up to a clock that insists that it is time to get up when the sun hasn’t yet given it’s permission for any such risings.

On these grey mornings I grumble in my head that the whole human race would have been better off if we had never invented clocks, cars or schedules. Often there are thin coatings of ice on the rainwater that I collect from the barrel and evidence of nightly intrusions in intricate icy fingerprints laced on the upstairs window glass. The red berries that the roses left behind bleed stark against the pure white crystals of the first flurries of snow.

We dig up our root plants, the horehound, chicory and celeriac. Their poignant aromas seem rich in the absence of all the other smells, which are leaving. The cold, dark days seem drearier than I am ready for so I feel in tune with William Cullen Bryant, as I read his sonnet,

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
Yet, one smile more, and we will try to bear,
the piercing winter frost and winds and darkened air.”

I think the real reason that we don’t want autumn to leave is because we have a primal fear deep down inside of us that the sun will not come back. What if it turns away and gets lost on the other side of the world never to smile on us again? There is such a human part of us that wants to grab, to hold, to keep, and to hoard. If we could place summer where we could take her out at will we would.

Nature teaches us to let go and trust, like she does. When the winters of our souls come along we often rebel, we don’t think this should happen to us. Yet we have the evidence right in front of us that He who creates this universe keeps it operating with perfect precision. Spring flows into summer, summer into fall and fall into winter, every year, without interruption.

As the wild things face winters head on out in the weather we face winters that we cannot hide from in our inner lives. At times things appear bleak. Yet, if we look honestly at nature we can see that winter never holds on forever and winter is good for things, like getting rid of what is spent and making the soil fertile for what is new.

Perhaps we should take our cue from nature and accept our winter as a time to go within, as a time to renew, a time to rest. Seeing how the Master Gardener takes such care in every little detail of nature don’t we think that perhaps he might have the perfect plan laid out for us too? Then our joy, like natures, would be to surrender to this divinely inspired plan.

“Then the LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.” Isaiah 58:11

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