The Turning Year

We have passed through the Holidays. The sun, which had been low on the horizon, has begun its climb towards the north. The days are noticeably longer. Still, dark comes early, and by 8 p.m. we are considering bed. We have had snow most days since just before Christmas, and a deep, white blanket covers the ground.  We’ve added a few very fluffy inches today. A fire burns in the wood stove.

Now is the time of story telling. Throughout the Norther Hemisphere traditional peoples have gathered for untold generations to tell the first stories: stories of creation, heroism, and fate. Why now? Perhaps we gather now because travel is difficult, and traditional tasks such as hunting, fishing, and farming are exceptionally challenging. What better to do than to sit beside the fire and remember our beginnings!

This is indeed a time of beginnings, and nine months from now there will be a cascade of new lives in our human world. In a month or two the ewes will lamb. A few weeks after that, we will plant our early gardens. Perhaps you are already preparing this years seeds to become seedlings. While we are yet in the quiet time, the pace of the natural world already, almost imperceptibly, quickens.

If you are at all like me, psyche is still turned inward. Planning anything is a chore. Nights are filled with dreams. Ancestors and lost friends seem nearby. Leaving the house takes great will. Yet, just at the edges there is a beckoning back into the world. Although it will take me a while to be coaxed from this deep, nurturing retreat I can sense the urgings. The year has turned!

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