Posts Categorized: Winter

Epiphanies Come Right On Time

“Epiphanies come right on time, not too early or too late.” ~ Byron Katie, 2013

Epiphany is today. Jan. 6th. It’s a holiday that has long been my favorite time to clear out the clutter of the past and stay in the present. A holy day where the future hasn’t happened yet. A happy new moment where I invite insight and clarity to emerge.

“Aha’s” on Epiphany

Jan. 5th (or 6th) is my favorite holiday. For years I thought I had it all to myself. Having already failed at whatever New Year’s Resolutions I had thrown at the dartboard, I would try again to envision my next year after the decorations were put away and the rich holiday foods were consumed or thrown away.

When I was raising a family, this would hit after the kids were back in school and we were once again held by familiar routines. I discovered that arranging some time for myself and myself alone on this day was the last and best day of the holiday. It was like my own personal clean-up, my revisioning time.

Later I was giddy to learn that there was a date on the liturgical calendar called “Epiphany,” and that it coincided with my private holiday.

Dipping Deeply Into the New Year

It’s pretty darned hard to miss the flashing ads and headlines that remind me, and all of us, that this is the time for resolve, discipline, will power. My own natural desire to get more in touch with my healthy body through diet and exercise at this time of year always finds plenty of support from the culture around me. I don’t mind riding that wave. But anybody at my gym will tell you that the new spurt of activity lasts about six weeks.

What makes it stick is when I dip deeply to discover what’s been in the way of change. I’ve discovered for myself that any resolutions for the new year just don’t take unless I spend some time thinking about where I’ve been, getting my bearings for what’s ahead.

Because the unquestioned past seems to have a way of becoming in the future.

Putting Yourself on Your List

In this chilly and bustling time, where do you freeze yourself out of your own heart? Maybe you check the holiday list and check it twice, without even noticing that your name never happens to appear. Your Inner Santa doesn’t see you, even if you’ve been nice rather than naughty. And so you leap through the holidays and to the end of the year without ever bringing yourself along.

Despite the exhilaration of the season, there’s often something inside that just longs to be heard, to be seen. It can be naughty by overeating or overdrinking to get your attention. Or it can have a meltdown or get sick. Then maybe you’ll stop and appreciate it. Instead, it usually waits quietly to get noticed.

Reflections after a Dead Puppy Christmas

Every year at this time I ask myself the question. “Now where was I?” It’s as if I left “my life” for somebody else’s. Which just might be true, at one level. Always the holidays are full to overflowing with the unexpected. This year my daughter brought home puppies from a rescue mission that had gone awry and we set up an emergency vet clinic here, where we nursed and held half-pound infants, trying desperately to save them from the ravages of Parvo. Only one of 15 made it, and it was happily delivered on Christmas eve. In the middle of all this sadness, carols, games with friends, and the Beatles on Wii were islands of laughter.

Which brings up the big savior: dark humor. I’ve lived long enough to keep in mind the story in family history WHILE going through the tough stuff. This will be the Christmas of the Dead Puppies, and we will laugh. Soon.

Traction

I just arrived home from a trip Over the River and Through the Woods to a mountain cabin. The way there was a bit treacherous, but once there the scene was a holiday card in 3D. Heaps of soft snow and stillness. Fine powder drifting aimlessly through the starry night sky. A wood stove to feed and long nights of dreaming.

A much-needed respite from my usual busy life (and mind to match).

On the way back we came face to face with a snow plow and needed to move over perilously close to a ditch. Our wheels began to spin as we struggled to get traction once again.

The very thing that had cleared our way nudged us into a little stuck place.

“The Sun in Drag” on a Rainy Day

As the rains set in here those of us who live in the Willamette valley know that we’re in for a long haul of (mostly) soggy weather. Unless I forget what I love about it, I begin to fight with this reality. For some time I’ve kept a list to remind me of the subtle beauties of the coming season. A partial list: subtle mists on the hills, rhythms on my roof, quiet time to dream, cozy evenings tucked in warm flannel.

When I forget these “favorite things,” there’s always poetry. One of my favorites for the season is from Hafiz, a 14th Century Persian poet. He reminds me of the source of sun, lest I forget. We’re all just the sun in drag.