Open to the Gifts of Winter

posted in: Community, Mindfulness | 0

I’m am blessed to have many exceptional people in my life, and it is with much gratitude that I share this beautiful article from one of those people. Julia Siporin is a yoga teacher, “Awake in the Wild” teacher, current student in the “Morning Altars” teacher training, lover of nature (especially birds), and gifted artist and writer. She makes her home in Eugene, Oregon on the beautiful peace of earth that is shown above. Read more about Julia and her offerings at 

Winter is a time to slow down and connect to the seasonal silence that inclines us towards the quiet wisdom of The Great Mystery. However, many of us get swept up in culture-driven rhythms, and we miss the whisperings of winter to attune to her earthly rhythms.

Our ancestors used to live in greater alignment with the seasons. However, our modern conveniences have mitigated so many of the season’s gifts for us. We light up the house so we can work or play into the wee hours. We sit in front of blue light-emitting screens that fool our brain into thinking we are in full day sun during the dark hours.

We have insulated ourselves from the wisdom of the seasons.

Every season has unique gifts and lessons for us. Here in Oregon, spring is a time of incredible new growth and activity; summer is about ripening and maturing… our gardens flourish, birds fledge from nests, and young coyotes discover their voices. Fall then is a time for harvesting the fruits of summer in preparation for winter. For many birds, it is a time to fatten up for another perilous journey thousands of miles away before winter brings everything to a halt.

After seasons of intense activity, winter is time for the soil and the land to rest, to be fallow and regenerate for the next spring.

Everything needs time to rest.

For humans, that might look like indulging in a nap when our eyes naturally close in the afternoon or going to bed a little earlier than usual. There is something I love about sitting near the fire with a cup of steaming hot tea watching birds and squirrels out the window or reading a book, and THEN enjoying a little shuteye. Winter is my favorite time to pick up my knitting projects that have been hibernating during the rest of the year.

I invite you to take a winter walk, feel the air on your skin, open your ears to sounds or the lack of sounds, take in the scents around you, and notice how the rhythms of winter are evidenced. Then find a place to sit… a rock, a log, a bench… Take some quiet moments to notice how winter is expressing herself in your own being. Close your eyes and feel the gestalt of winter. Allow yourself to be fully immersed, saturated in the essence of winter. Where might you take a few moments to experience quiet stillness during your day?

Winter, more than any other season, invites us to slow down, reflect, rest, and regenerate.

“How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterward.” – Spanish proverb.

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