My Endless Winter
I still get these quarterly statements from my website. This many visits. This many bounces. This long they stayed.
I’ve started to wonder if they are mistakes. This strangely odd number of people I am told by google that still go to my website each month and stick around to read.
“Read what?” a part of me always asks.
It’s been over two and a half years since I had anything I really wanted to say. Two and a half years!
I keep expecting my audience to vanish. (I’ve made peace with that as well, if you do.)
And yet, here some of you still are. Years into my quietude. Which strangely made me want to say hello.
I was in New York a few weeks ago, dancing something called the Five Rhythms. (It’s good work. It gets me in my body and moving through my emotional landscape without attributing the sticky bits to anything in particular. Physical. Therapy.)
We got to the rhythm of “stillness” and I broke. Down. Open.
(I say that as though it was a singular event. Like it was the first or final breaking of me. Let me be clear, it wasn’t. It was the seventh or seventieth or seven hundredth breaking. Another mysterious and beautiful process I’ve surrendered to.)
I lay on the floor and let my body sob. Celebrating. Watching.
What struck me, in that moment was actually something quite cliche. It was the simplicity of the seasons. The rhythms of life.
That spring is always exciting and bubbling with life, followed by summer that is generally hot and full of intensity.
That winter is always dark. Still. Renewing. Fallow.
In the past few years, I have felt a million times like the winter will quite literally, never end. That it is more like death than renewal. That the story is over when we get to this bit, rather than just a chapter or a page.
And yet… in all the discomfort, the one thing I have been almost mystically clear about, is that I will not force the timing. There is something happening inside me. That I get to witness. This deep rewriting. This non-optional reboot.
And so I wait.
But now … here I am dancing. And we get to stillness. To winter. I am laying on a cold wooden floor, in a strange kind of allowance for the bottomless nothing… and out of nowhere I can feel my cells start this buzzing… I can feel the next rhythm. A flowing. An excitement. Holy fucking shit! It is spring!
Not here. Not yet. But coming. “Ahhhhhhhhhhh”
An ocean of sorrow then passion then gratitude sweep through my body, erupting through all my face holes, into a snotty and uncontrollable celebration on the floor.
That was the breaking. The breaking open. The breaking through.
I think that’s called grace.
It turns out that spring follows winter.
It might feel holy to me today, but it is actually just what happens.
It happens whether you trust it will or fight it or dig in your heels. You not in charge of the timing. None of us are.
I have learned so much in this seemingly fallow season of “nothing.”
I have created order in the lifetimes of chaos in my closets and drawers. I have gotten very curious about my defenses and become diligent about observing my own wild moods. I have discovered that place inside me that knows how to make things beautiful. And that other place that gets off on making a mess. I have found I have the ability to sit very still, sometimes for days, if there is something I want to learn. (And man, is there much I have been learning!)
Mostly, I have been unbecoming. Unfashioning the tale that I have to be something to be something. Reclaiming the sovereignty I’ve so happily handed over to others throughout my life.
Being present with what is in front of me today.
We each get to watch our own beautiful life unfolding. Our own evolution happening. You can throw popcorn at the screen or snuggle up. But the movie still plays.
It’s a messy process, this waking up to our own humanity. Let me rephrase that— mine most certainly is.
And in truth, I have no idea where it is leading. If winter is actually over at all, or I just got an early peek at spring. But I get it now. The surrender part. And I am 100% in.
Which brings me to you my beautiful friend. And to my own little blessing for you today:
That if you you are in spring, may you enjoy the wonder. Bask in the aliveness. Fall in love.
If you are in summer, may you soak up the heat. Play hard. Conquer the world.
But if you are in winter, may you surrender to the deep breathe in. Be still. Let it break you. And cover you up.
Winter resets us. Renews us. Demands that we nourish ourselves. It clears away the noise.
You will open again later. That’s not what I promise, it’s what the earth promises. What the mystery promises. It is what rhythms of forever show. It is what has been promised to me.
Can you be present with the season pulsing through you? Not as a victim but as a participant?
Even if it’s cold?
I feel you. I love you.
You’ve got this.
I’ve got this.
I will write again in a decade, or a week. We will find out together. (Of course I hope it’s soon. I always do.)
Let the mystery continue!