Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Less of Winter

fallow 1 |ˈfalō|
(of farmland) plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation or to avoid surplus production : incentives for farmers to let the land lie fallow in order to reduce grain surpluses.

This morning I opened my back door and with Oliver on the leash beside me, I took a deep breath of the scent of winter. We stood there for a moment in the cold and looked through the thin, bare branches of our walnut tree and saw the stars winking slowly at the two of us. The moon was a fingernail of light. In that single moment I did not wish to be anywhere but right there.

That moment felt sacred. And I do not often feel that holiness in winter.

Winter is a season of less. There is less daylight. Less heat from the sun to warm my bones and chase the chill. There are fewer fruits and vegetables in the garden and at the market. Only meager dried up leaves on the trees.

Our little corner of Earth's bounty lies fallow. Perhaps I should follow her cue instead of mourning the loss of more.

So this morning Oliver and I took a moment to appreciate less. The silhouette of bare branches against a gray sky. The glitter of dew drops on blades of yellowing grass just barely peeking though the covering of snow. The pink and orange sunsets sandwiched between the shadowy horizon and threatening clouds. The lyrical rattle of dried seed pods clinging to a tree.

When I take a moment to notice the magic in the world all around me I feel just a little less empty. Filled just a little bit more.

Winter – life in the simplest garb – less in the best sense of the word.

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