The Winding Path

Counselling Services provided by Barb Zacharias

December 2010: Transitions

Posted on Dec 15, 2010

Winter dies into the spring, to be born again in the autumn.
~ Marche Blumenberg

Ah, winter. I am one of the few who actually enjoys this time of year—given a period of adjustment, of course. I do not impatiently await the arrival of snow. In fact, I am quite put out if it arrives too early—such as in October.

October is the time of fallen leaves and transition from the vibrancy of autumn colours to the starkness of naked trees. Given this time of nakedness, the snow is a welcome covering for the dreary greyness. The world is once again a beautiful place awash in sparkling white. And when the wind howls and the temperature drops, there is no cozier place than home.

Without the vicissitudes of winter, spring cannot come in all its glory. Nor would there be a season for comfy sweaters, hot chocolate, snowmen, sleigh rides, brilliant starry skies, and all manner of winter fun.

There is a rhythm to the seasons that generates a sense of wonder throughout the year—and conversation topic. I hear in other parts of the world, weather is not a conversation starter as it is here in Canada. And from the weather, there flows a plethora of personal stories—of surviving the elements, adventures, activities, and connections with friends and family.

We grow accustomed to transitioning through the seasons and making the most of each one. Our lives develop a flow and rhythm that corresponds with nature and its seasons. Sometimes we lose touch with this connection to nature. We take things for granted (such as a warm house) or become disenchanted by the inconveniences and interruptions of leaky roofs; snow removal; the unwieldy concoction of snow, sand, and salt; snow storms; icy roads; and all the ways humanity and nature collide.

We dance with nature through the seasons negotiating the steps with smoothness, agility, and appreciation coupled with having our toes stepped on or tripping up when we miss a beat. Nature’s rhythm, after all, doesn’t fit with everyone’s groove.

Much of life itself is negotiating transitions. Job changes. Address changes. Partner changes. Status changes. Family changes. Season changes. Some anticipated; others unexpected. We are constantly maneuvering through these changes and the seasons of life. All in time to a rhythm as natural as our heartbeat.

As we transition into the holiday season in the midst of winter, how will you connect with nature and the rhythms of your life? Pause on an evening walk, bundled against the cold, look up and enjoy the night sky? Join friends on a sleigh ride over sparkling fields of snow? Catch your breath while the wind kisses your tingling face as you ski or toboggan in a winter wonderland? Curl up next to a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate in one hand and a good book in the other? Bake up a storm for family and friends to enjoy? Admire the colourful, twinkling lights beaming out into the dark night?

Whatever you do during this month of festivities, may you be surrounded by the warmth of friends and family. Cozy in the knowledge that, wherever you are in the seasons of your life, you are part of the Great Cosmos—a participant in the rhythmic Dance of Life.

Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter’s evening, when dusk almost hides the body, and they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day.
~Virginia Woolf

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