Tag Archive: Winter into Spring


We have been enduring the bleak, stark monotones of late winter/earliest pre-spring here in New England..grey skies, white snows, black and brown dried frozen trees, shrubs and vegetation. It’s darkish often on some days, and foggy too, a drab palette that if enveloping us for too long, drains our spirits, speaking too intensely of loss, letting go and even death.

We can only be with that for a certain length of time without losing hope that color will once again return to our world.

But color WILL always return, as the Celtic Poet/Priest John O’Donohue taught in his pilgrimages and lectures. “If you are going through a bleak time in your life right now, remember this: “SPRING is the secret work of Winter“.

And with the return of Spring, is the return of color into our environment and even in the roughest personal season, into our lives as well, drawn forth by the warmth of the sun and and the warmth and love of supportive friends and community.

In preparing for today’s essay and message, I was going to write about this last Nor’Easter… a wet, wild, windy and dangerous winter storm that has just once more passed through our lives here. But in scrolling for a picture of it in my files and camera, I found that I just could not give that topic any more energy. Over and over again, I stopped and paused at pictures of other seasons with gorgeous hues, tints and vibrant colors of happiness, hope, celebration and joy.

Given that we are also in and suffering through a “winter ot our discontent” these days with cultural chaos,  non-compassionate coldness,  and the grey fog and mists of lies and deceptions from corrupt leaders and complicit media, I was magnetically drawn to images of green gardens, blue skies and LOTS of flowers to revive hope in a season and society that brings life for all instead of destruction.

And so, I have “picked” from my files, a bouquet of beautiful flowers for me, and for you… a variety of lovely zinnias from the summer garden of an artist friend. They lift my spirits with their beautiful shapes and colors and inspire me to not melt into the grey wet mud of a too long winter, nor allow myself to dry up and blow away with the harsh cold winds of nature and history-in-the-making…

With this bouquet of pinks, I,  like the Spring, prepare right now (!) to celebrate the return of color to the Earth and into our Spirits and Lives as well as we welcome and invite the warmth of sun and community to bless us.

Don’t lose heart! Remember ” SPRING is the secret work of Winter! ”

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

Cranberyy 2

 

 

 

 

 

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Snowface David PICA WINTER WHITE (2)

Doesn’t it seem like Winter is endless this year? Cold, dark, windy, FOREVERRrrrrr!

I think Old Man Winter has fallen asleep in the woods and I hope he has not forgotten in his dreams that Spring is waiting impatiently to bring color back onto Earth’s canvas.

There has not been a lot of snow, but this HAS been a grey Winter in many of our spirits these days, with the intense flu season and especially the political upheavals, disarray and FROZEN icy heartless souls in power at the top in our government  right now who are stealing the lushness that belongs to all of us.

If we who believe in Spring don’t lose hope that all will dark, cold and seemingly life-less forever, if there are enough of us to soon, if not already, stir the soil, clang the pots and bells, sing songs and recount stories of our most colorful and generous dreams, then surely the green-ness, the “veriditas”, the flowers of freedom, as well as the Earth, will return in Spring.

Old Man Winter actually does know this.

As the Celtic poet Priest John O’Donohue has said:

If and when  you are in a bleak time, remember this: The secret work of winter…is..Spring”

May it be so (as it always has been….)

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

Moi hat 2

 

 

 

Heather and Snow Two (2) PICASA

Yesterday, March 20, was the Vernal (Spring) Equinox in North America. Pictures of tulips, lambs, bunnies and bouquets of flowers were cheerfully posted all over social media, bringing color, a sense of beginnings, warmth and new visions after the cold and silence of winter.

Meanwhile on the eastern coast, we awaited a snow event promising to  once again cover the slowly emergent green from the past week of warmer rains.

The sun is now bright after the snowfall, melting this morning’s  blanket of white, but we have not yet made the transition really from Winter into Spring. This is an in-between time… snow and heather trying to co-exist if only momentarily.

Transitions times are a real thing…neither this, nor that…but both and neither. Nature is a startling metaphor for situations in our lives that are neither one thing or another. I know this to be true because that is exactly what I am experiencing at this time: an in-between time from what my life was, and what will be.

I have let go of my life and home and beloved gardens and routines of the past 18 years of rhythm and familiarity, partly by choice and partly by fate. … much if not all of my worldly possessions in storage while I am granted a blessed “time-out” living with friends in order to heal in spirit and recalibrate where to go from here. I am leaving a winter experience of life with residues of frozen challenges while emerging into color, creativity and new experiences that are part of an eldering, but also newly- blossoming me.

I know I am not alone in these times of transition…the in-between times when we are compelled to make changes that incorporate both plusses and minuses. Letting go of parts of what we love, stages of grief, recognition of blessings in the in-between times that aid us and help us move along, hints and glimmers of what can be that we only now can envision as new possibilities.

Spring IS coming, and one thing about Spring that is different from winter-into-spring is the uncompromising energy of Spring RUSHING without confusion into SUMMER…the time of bursting through the cold hard ground into stems, blossoms, fruits and vegetable, color and LIFE.

But today…heather and snow..is the In-Between Time of patience and promise.. a time that is neither this nor that. But both.

I think I can work with that……

 

Moi 2From Christine, The Greening Spirit

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussouopsandsuppers.wordpress.com

 

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer. ~ Dylan Thomas

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Veggie Altar 1

It has been a fierce and wild winter. Not so much a continuous snow here on the coast, but rather cold, and one major blizzard with the immense power of its furious Winds which buried us in heavy wet snow, shredded and took down trees and power lines, leaving many of us without electricity, heat, light and water for over a week.

Nature wields un-imaginable power that we ignore at our peril. Perhaps that is why the ancients, indigenous peoples and the pagani of the earth took such care to honor, celebrate and ritually appease that immense FORCE for life and death that is inherent in the energetic Greening Spirit of the Cosmos.

I have felt that so strongly this season. Perhaps it is because I am of a certain age and have witnessed, experienced  and gathered the teachings, challenges and gifts of many turns of the wheel of life, and I have not yet emerged from the spirit of actual winter this particular year. Perhaps it is because just recently, my own mother has passed and in the almost-spring phase of February and March when one starts seeds and seedlings indoors for the eventual garden,  dreaming of Life,  I have been rather  out-of-sync momentarily in the process of grieving. The great FORCE of the winds  and the destruction that it has brought with it, taking down and decimating so many young and elder trees alike, combined with the ending of my mother’s life had made me feel the inevitable far end of the spectrum of the opposites of existence: the visible and invisible, the great sound and the Great Silence, the Force that pushes Life UP! and that same force that breaks and  takes Life DOWN!.

Winter right now is at the very end of the cycle, saying “goodbye” just as simultaneously Spring is seemingly gently nudging us to wake up and say “hello” to the great  Life Force of the Greening Spirit that has had enough of stillness and frozen sensibilities, and with the greatest Force, thrusts us and all living things up and out of real or symbolic darkness into the New. It is for this reason we often in great excitement “plant” our spring bulbs or Narcissi and tulips, gladioli and daffodils with a sense of excitement: to participate and help  the process of birthing and renewal along…to see and smell GREEN and enjoy all the  fresh and vibrant colors that were asleep while grey, brown , black and white blanketed the earth for their allotted time.

This past week, because of the ruthlessness of the winds that took down so many trees, and the death of my mother, I went to the markets in search of a little prepared potted narcissus to bring home for an altar in honor of letting go of the past, and to honor the new, bringing the green, the color and the scent of new life into my “living room” itself. I needed to do that because I had been unable to cry and let the tears flow for all that had ended and demanded a goodbye. I was however quite surprised and  frustrated when I found just the perfect little pot with several miniature yellow blooms and buds ready to open, and then realized that I had left my checkbook and debit card at home by mistake and did not have enough cash on me to purchase the flowers! Oh how I needed to see and sense the Greening Spirit of Life on that special altar I had set up at home for comfort and inspiration.

Veggies 1I returned home and started to prepare dinner, going to a bowl filled with winter squashes, avocados, sweet potatoes, and garlic. And there..THERE..right amidst this bountry, was one large sweet onion…. sprouting green shoots, just like the narcissi! I truly had not seen it before in that state as I moved about the small kitchen preparing meals..how could I have missed this only onion on the plate, firm and hard still, but with the tall green shoots straight up, thrusting out of itself from the ineffable power of the driving Greening Spirit of Life wanting to flower and bloom! I had  missed bringing home the potted narcissi because instead here was an Onion, which if cut and chopped for cooking, brings tears, TEARS that are frozen behind the eyes, sometimes not even knowing that they were there in the first place.

The Universe and Great Mystery and I dance together, and I believe always that there is the potential dialogue between us if we pay attention and listen deeply. This was the perfect plant of life for my altar at this moment..a plant that symbolized both nourishment, an aid for the flowing of tears, and soon, a bloom as well..an onion that embodies within its seemingly solid and finished self..the spark of new life that mysteriously MUST move up and out….”the force that  through the green fuse, drives the flower…”

It is unstoppable!

And there will be a flower on one of those green shoots eventually..a globe of purple or some secret onion color…the promise of Spring, the power of the Greening Spirit and renewal will soon be here. Is ALWAYS here!

I am grateful for the way the Great Mystery and I play together.

Veggie Altar 2“And remember this: SPRING is the secret work of winter.” ~ John O’Donohue

**Note: you are invited to check my other blogs/sites:

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

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