How do we come to know a place? Exploration, play, living. I spent some time in the dwindling winter snow today, appreciating what remains. Hoping for more. And worrying about fire season this summer if more of the great white stuff doesn’t fall from the sky soon.
These are the quiet days of snow. Light emerges from the horizon changing the tone of the sky. The darkness of the world outside begins to take the shape of woods. Last night’s snow has filled in all the past memories. Paths are gone. Footsteps erased. Branches laced with white move in and out of the coming morning.
We are in the days of half-light. Planning is required for movement to coincide with the daylight. This is the season we are provided to look inside ourselves and outside ourselves at the same time. Contemplation corresponding to the briefness of light. Measuring actions, worth and beliefs. Slowing our movement, sitting still for moments to wonder about what is next to come. Like children with their noses to the window when it rains in the summer, with the lengthy darkness we are given the time to consider our futures and the world we want to live in.
It is no wonder to me why the Ancient European Pagans would have ritualized this time for remembering the past year, and thinking and planning for the next. Their health, success, and longevity depended on their ability to link past actions and events with the future they wanted to live. Honoring the gods, the Earth, reckoning lives. Burning the Yule Log (known in many other names), the densest log available, marked the transition from darkness to light, and the transition to longer days.
Let us all find the path in the snow in the early dawn that will bring us joy, keep us safe, and bring us peace in the coming season of light.