Winter Outside. Winter Inside.

It's early in the morning, and as is our custom, my husband Tom and I are taking time to do a little reading, attempt to meditate, and savor that first sacred cup of coffee. The view out our great room window, however, is depressing. It has been raining for days. Never quite cold enough to snow. Never quite warm enough to melt the dirty white patches underneath the pine trees, remnants of that first pristine snowfall on Christmas Eve. The dismal weather set in a few weeks ago, and isn't showing any signs of lifting. 

Dark. Gray. Gloomy.

I have an interior sense of gloom and sadness that has settled in, and it isn't showing any signs of lifting either. Familiar with depression, this scares me just a little. It's hard to find the motivation to do almost anything, and the pressure to just do something is building. A month of 2018 is already behind me, and what do I have to show for it? What if the words don't start to flow onto the page again? What if the ideas I've been nurturing never flourish? What if the seeds I've been planting never put down roots and become something alive and vital?  

The view out our window only reinforces my internal dismal weather pattern.

Dark. Gray. Gloomy.

Wrapping my hands more tightly around my coffee cup, I say to Tom, "My insides feel exactly like it looks outside". 

Dark. Gray. Gloomy.

He doesn't say anything, and my internal ground-fog  settles in lower.  As is his way, he is slow to speak, and when he finally breaks the silence, here is what he says;  "This is the only time of the year that the earth gets to just be. To simply lay there and soak up the rain. It is almost as if you can hear the earth exhale a sigh of relief at the forced rest of the winter months. Nothing to do but quietly receive." Tom is a geologist and has spent his life studying the ground beneath our feet. As a man who has lived his life close to the earth, he has learned to recognize her ancient wisdom, her deep knowing that there is a time for everything, and a season to every purpose under heaven. 

I try to let his words sink in, and attempt to do nothing but quietly receive the perspective he is offering. Looking out the window again, something shifts inside. I begin to let go of the fear that the sun will never break through my clouds, and find instead a small handhold of faith that in good time, it will. Rather than anxiously hold my breath, I slowly exhale, and find a quiet sense of relief. Instead of grasping at straws, I take a stab at receiving the gifts of quiet and stillness that this dark, gray, and gloomy day might offer. 

There is a time for everything, and a season to every purpose under heaven. Including this one:

Dark. Gray. Gloomy.

And it is not for naught. It is for the purpose of preparing the earth for what is still to come, nourishing her for the work of the coming season. Looking out the window again it dawns on me that it would be wise to listen to this ancient wisdom. Heading upstairs to my desk I decide that this must be the time to faithfully show up at my desk, trusting that the words will again begin to flow.  It is the time to purposefully water the ideas that are quietly germinating. And, this is the season to nurture the seeds that are too busy putting down roots to show themselves above the quiet earth in which they have been planted. 

There is a time for everything, and a season to every purpose under heaven.