Reflections out of my office window…

February 15th, 2010

My dad was paging through seed catalogs  yesterday-eager for spring planting- looking forward to that time of year when the sap  runs free within the tree, when seeds begin to swell and burst with life and green shoots peek slyly from the ground to seek the warming sun. 

But looking out of my office window into the lovely wooded acreage that surrounds our home it is very clear that , today, it is still winter. The trees stand tall and bare, swaying with the winds on this blustery  February day.  A deep blanket of snow covers the fallen leaves and the seeds that lie protected beneath them.

I find myself drawn into the beauty and stillness of the moment and of what I see.  I am struck by the spiritual significance of this season and find myself pondering its importance in the eternal fullness of life.   Winter- the pause before the breath-the hour between dark and dawn- the moment between the heartbeat- stillness.

The mind of the all wise Creator has seen fit to establish His creation according to cycles of birth, growth , fruition and regeneration. The winter season is a time when all nature pauses to rest and to gather strength for the growth cycle to come.  A time of regeneration for Mother Earth and all her creatures.

Like a cosmic mirror the scene before me reflects back to me the reality that I, too, am a part of nature- a manifestation of God’s creative activity.  How much do I really understand about this wondrous cycle of life, of which I am an integral  part? How well do I surrender to the purpose and design of the seasons God has ordained?  Do I use my winter  wisely;  re-flecting, re-newing,, re-thinking, re-evaluating, re- dedicating myself to God’s purpose ?  Or do I resist and fight against the winter aspect of life, running over it and pushing through it, forgetting its place in the rhythmic cycle of the divine plan?

 Societal demands often seem conflictive and even combative toward winter.  I am a part of my society also, and it is so easy to be drawn into that same erroneous thinking.  Stillness, quiet, going inward to gather strength for what is to come is a practice I must discipline myself to seek out and actively enter into if I want to experience the fullness of life as God created it.

Gazing over toward the corner of the upper drive I see one of the hemlock groves where the deer bed down at night. Unlike the birch, the beech and the maple whose branches are bare, the green branches of the hemlock remain throughout the winter creating a natural  sanctuary for the deer- a place to find protection from the wind and the snow, sacrificing  their lower branches to become a soft bed on which the deer can rest.

 The ever-green hemlocks stand as a symbol to me of that which does not  change throughout the seasons.  While God’s creation pauses to rest and renew, God watches over all His hands have made with His never ending tender Heart of Love. Like the deer under the hemlock and the seeds within the ground I will be protected,  strengthened and renewed through every season of every cycle of my life if I but allow myself to rest in that reality.

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