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Wintertime, Wombtime

As the leaves turn to rust, and the autumn sun burnishes everything it touches with gold, suddenly we are filled with a beautiful sense of completion. While the burning heat of summer sun is at an end, still the days are infused with a gentle warmth, which seems to nurture every part of us. Autumn is a golden time indeed. Sometimes we find ourselves wishing, if only every moment were like this, how much easier life would be.

If we cling to this thought, rather than immersing ourselves in the beauty of the moment, then we are likely to become melancholy - to resist the onset of winter - the time of darkness.

Many of us dislike the cold and dark of winter, because it nudges us into retreat. For many the very thought of winter makes them feel sad, resistant, because it echoes those times in our lives that do feel dark, lonely and inhospitable. As the trees lose their leaves, often we are overcome with a tangible sense of loss, as our world starts to feel stark and bare. Nature does not experience winter in this way. The trees willingly shed their leaves, because their leaves fertilise the ground in preparation for the burgeoning of Spring, and we are asked to do the same.

So, as the days continue to shorten, what aspects of our life is it time to let go of, in preparation for our Spring? The more we can shed, the more we make room for all those possibilities that await us. Then it is we can enter more profoundly into the many blessings winter brings.

In the Celtic year winter was the time of the cave - the rich time of dreaming. And, as we retreat with the cold, this too can be our time for the birthing of new dreams. Once we understand this, then our wintertime, physically and metaphorically, can become one of the richest times in our lives.

Those who are open to all that winter offers, who take time out to replenish, to be, will have the strength and resources to embrace all the excitement Spring can bring. So why not start to plan your own wombtime - it won't let you down.

May 2005

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