It is definitely winter here at this old house. Now that Epiphany has been celebrated and we move into that period known in the Church as “ordinary” time (after “ordinal,” or “by the clock” and not “boring”), the days between the Feast of the Nativity and the beginning of Lent. Here at this old house, we put away our decorations two days ago. I always miss the lights on the tree the most. They are the first thing I turn on in the dark mornings and the last thing that goes off before bed.

It is also a winter season in my soul. I have not been able to write and for a while, I tried to fight against that. Then, I realized that it can’t be harvest season all the time and the ability to lie fallow as the earth does in winter is its own gift, though not as welcome always as the gifts of planting, growing and/or harvesting are. I have quit being hard on myself and settled into a time of resting and listening spiritually. Rather than force creativity, I will simply let it lie fallow and wait for the signal that spring is here again.black-and-white, cold, fog

It is important to recognize the seasons of our soul. Just as we can tell what season Nature is in, if we stop long enough and ask honest questions, we can determine whether our spirits are in spring, summer, fall or winter. And as it is important to work with the seasons of Nature in terms of appropriate clothing and knowing when to plant, weed or harvest the garden, so it is important to embrace each season of our inner life. For those of us who are used to producing a lot of creative work, winter can be very trying as it is often a time when creativity seems to have vanished. Yet, often in winter deep work is happening underground, both in the earth and in our souls.

So, I embrace winter, both inside and outside. I invite those of you who are in the same season to join me in a cup of hot tea and a good book!