Another January

Here we are again: the dead time.

Here we are again: the dead time. Biting cold, steel grey skies, and skeletal trees. The whole world seems to have gone quiet and still.

Yet we trudge on. Through the darkness, though our bodies beg for rest. You’re not broken if this season leaves you complacent.

Perhaps you don’t recognize where you are now, or you’re unsure of where you’re supposed to be. Perhaps you feel stuck, lost, confused, or hopeless.

You are precisely where you’re meant to be. In the barren season, when our soul is searching, we remain open to the world around us. And this scathing desire for renewal is what leads us to the next step on this whirlwind journey. Without this need, we’d remain frozen in place as life goes on around us.

We are just as much tied to the cycles of death and renewal as the earth we inhabit. And maybe we have to feel dead inside sometimes to recognize when we find the thing that makes us feel alive again.

On that note, I leave you with this poem by Mary Oliver, for times such as this. May she rest in peace.

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

The Summer Day: Mary Oliver, 1992

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