“Each kind of work has its own season.”
Hesiod, Works and Days
I am convinced that our bodies, and souls, want to move with the rhythm of the seasons. But most of us have professions or callings in which our work does not really vary according to the season. And modern life goes by a schedule that has been largely unhinged from the cycles of the natural world. Perhaps our recreational activities vary with the seasons, but often not our work, the very stuff of our daily lives.
Thus we usually miss out on a basic connection to a deep intentionality in nature.
Yet surely we can tune into the seasons nonetheless; we can receive the gift of a particular season by consciously trying to enter into it.
So how do we enter into winter? What is the point of winter anyway?
I can’t but think of my garden. Under a blanket of mulch right now something special is happening in the soil. In a pause from the more obvious and strenuous work of growing plants, the soil is gathering its strength to start again in earnest. This period is necessary, even if we know not exactly why. A hidden rejuvenation is in process.
We are tempted to want to skip this part. We say, “Oh for spring!” But then, what is spring without winter? Really.
I seek the wisdom to recognize winter for what it is, and so to live in it. This much I know: simply to hold my nose for this part, to bundle up and wish it past, is to miss something that has a reason. There is always a reason.
Perhaps if I am more patient, and look with confidence, I will come to a better understanding of what it is.
Hesiod (8th century B.C.) was a Greek contemporary of Homer, and likewise an epic poet. His Works and Days sketches the year-round work on a homestead.
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