In the midst of a year full of unpredictability and uncertainty, one thing has remained the same: the seasons. Temperatures rise and fall, the sun continues to rise and set, days grow longer then shorter, plants bud, thrive, change color, and fall away to make space for the new again. When quarantine began, many people found a new appreciation for being outdoors and enjoying nature. Winter can be a more difficult season in any year, but winter this year can feel particularly unwelcome. Rather than dreading its arrival, what if we lean in and see what winter invites us to notice?
As Myquillyn Smith states, “the empty deciduous trees and brown grass are seasonal reminders of the importance of dormancy and rest. They’re also a visual reminder that we are in a season of waiting for something more to come.”
In a season where night is longer than day, we can pay attention to that darkness and what it teaches us about waiting and anticipation. After all, God created the night as well as the day. The early night blanket of a star-filled sky comes to us on purpose. How can you use this season for rest and replenishment? What areas of your life do you need to embrace the darkness and let yourself grieve, lament and heal? Who can you invite into your story to share this process with? What does the promise of spring offer your soul right now?
Another way to welcome and embrace winter is through each of the five senses. Winter is full of the sight of evergreen, candles, and cozy looking textures. It sounds like a crackling fire or a comforting soundtrack. It smells like cinnamon, pine, vanilla, or pot roast. It tastes like hot cocoa, baked goods, and warm soup. It feels like wrapping up in a warm blanket or putting on cozy slippers. What does winter feel like for you?
May we welcome winter this year and accept all that it has to offer. If you would like additional support as you navigate this season, please call us at 615-591-5262.
Smith, M. (2020). Welcome Home. Zondervan Books.
Blog written by Refuge Center Masters Level Intern, Shelby French