For most of my life I had trouble connecting with the season of winter, of even understanding it enough to listen to anything it had to tell me. Granted, the climate I grew up in was so warm throughout the year that I started joking we just experienced various stages of summer as seasons, but for the longest time it never bothered me that I had never lived somewhere that truly felt the change and magic each season had to offer.
It was only a few years ago, the first time I heard someone talk about how the seasons of our planet reflect the cycle of our own lives, that I started to care more about the four seasons. Though I still lived in Florida at the time, I started to follow the seasonal calendar more, trying to tune in with what little indication we did get for spring and fall, and appreciating more and more the few weeks of cold with bitter chilled winds.
I studied the teachings of how we can follow the seasons in our lives, planting our intentions and ideas in the spring, using the energy of summer to help our projects grow, harvest the wisdom we learned in the fall, and turning inward during winter to reflect and hold space for ourselves.
When I finally moved to a state where I lived through the progression of the seasons for the very first time, my appreciation grew, though I did learn that for me it is still important to be intentional about following the rhythms of our planet.
My first winter with snow was magical, despite only having 3 snowfalls. By the next winter, I had moved somewhere with even more days of snow, and I was so excited to finally live in a winter wonderland that I was not listening for the wisdom and teachings of winter to come through. And yet, through spring, summer, and fall this past year I tried to tune in to the energy of each season, but having skipped tuning in to winter's wisdom I found myself feeling out of sorts.
This current winter, in some ways, feels like a first for me - the first time I have been in tune enough with my body to listen to what it has to say about how to make it through the winter months. I have found myself turning inward, going with the flow, and actually allowing myself to just be...
I have learned that I can still enjoy the season and love all the magic of a winter wonderland while still allowing myself to slow down, to rest, to reflect on the past year and to dream about what comes next.
I feel like I have tuned in to a the frequency of winter which shares that slow and steady gets you through just fine, and rushing won't make things happen any faster.
The lesson it feels like winter wants to teach me is that now is the time to turn inward and slow down - to heed the advice of the animals who know that food is scarce, becoming less active, some to the point of a months-long sleep.
The magic of winter has been teaching me that slowing down isn't a sign of weakness - quite the opposite, winter tells me that if I slow down with the quiet ebb and flow of the season, that this year I will find I have more energy to make it through the months full of life and energy, because it serves no one to burn myself out before the year really even gets started.
I know I still have a lot to learn from winter, but it is teaching me to take things one day at a time, and honor the way through instead of trying to skip steps to be the first to the destination.