The New Look of Discrimination & Oppression

Over the past several weeks, I have run into some things I believe important to point out. All of them related to what we think we must do now in order to be allowed to be here, and all of which relate to the plight of the minority.

The first red flag came during a conversation with a couple who told me that the only reason they were getting vaccinated was because otherwise, their friends would not associate with them. Then, I was with a woman who told me of her concerns around the experimental shots, and how she had made up her mind to not do it. Until she heard that the kids could not go back to school until a certain percentage of us had been vaccinated. At which point she said, “Well, if I grow an extra limb, at least I helped the kids.” And then there is the health care professional of a friend of mine who is getting the vaccine not because she wants to, but because her work requires it. She did it, while begging her husband to not get his. Why? Because she feels that if both she and her husband take the shot, there will not be a healthy parent left for her children.

And now, pilot programs all over the world are rolling out digital vaccine passports that will either give you entry into the world. Or not. All depending on whether you have taken an experimental shot. (One, by the way, that is not approved by our own FDA, or ever been used on human beings.)

In essence creating a caste system. A world of have’s and have nots. All based on some arbitrary standard of the times around who is clean and who is dirty. Who is deserving, and who is not. Sound familiar? It should. We have already seen this kind of discriminatory policy in the form of “red lining.” The practice of drawing a line around communities of color; refusing them basic rights and access to things like mortgages and insurance. Groups deemed “high risk” by the very nature of one maligned criteria.

No matter what your personal beliefs are, we have got some enormous questions to ask of ourselves that far exceed whether or not to take an experimental drug. Questions like, is it in the best interest of our lives together to shame, coerce, and even force another person to do something they do not feel is good or right for them? Is it humane to discriminate against people, while getting them to agree to a system that does not recognize or include them? Is this the kind of world we want to be creating? One where we oppress others based on their individual beliefs? Have we not already had enough of this as a species? Enough persecution because someone believes or acts differently than you do, or are comfortable with?

We have seen this played out on every level of human life. With race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and more. Now we are doing it again. Only it is more insidious because now we have hired public relations firms to drive a single message to the exclusion of all other viewpoints. But when you strip it all down, we have also been here before. We have also created messaging across history that certain ones of us were dangerous, contaminated, and not to be trusted because we looked, or acted different than the status quo.

And then there is the tried and true hegemony where we convince people to such a degree of their inferiority that they claim the role of the oppressed who can only expect the dregs of life. It is a most dangerous precedent to set to condition a populace to violate themselves all while believing they are doing it because they deserve nothing better, or because it is all part of playing their role for the “common good.” What goodness is there to be had for the community when we are convincing people to deny their own naturally endowed God-given rights to the sovereignty over their own bodies?

It is most interesting to observe that the very same among us who would take to the streets to protest discrimination for marginalized people are the very same ones who would stand behind discriminatory digital passports. The very people who would rise up if a disenfranchised group was silenced, being the same ones who would censor anything that questions the safety and efficacy of Operation Warp Speed. The very ones who would rail at anything less than full consent in a sexual encounter, being the same ones to deny informed voluntary medical consent for others. And the very same who would put their life on the line for a woman’s right to choose what happens in her own body, would now take that right away from others.

I know. Some would say this moment in time is different. But isn’t that exactly what others across history have said when it was believed that a gay teacher would corrupt children, that a member of a lower caste would foul something they touched, or that a woman was the property of her husband and therefore subject to harsh demands that had nothing to do with her?

History aside, let’s follow the argument that this is different because personal choice impacts us all. Are we ready to say then that there is no more smoking, drugging, alcohol, and yes, even caffeine? Will we go so far as to take away Netflix because of the way it interferes with a good night’s sleep? Will we remove sugar from the stores because of its impact on the immune system? In short, will we take away every health-depleting substance and activity because of the way it compromise individual health, and therefore impacts the health of the rest of us?

Let us never forget that ALL of our individual choices impact every one around us. All the time. While the effects may not be immediate or always easy to see, the detrimental impact is there nonetheless. Therefore, will you find it in you to put aside your personal beliefs, fears and conditioning in favor of health freedom for all? Or will you use this time as another opportunity to continue a long and devastating tradition of the human psyche to diminish and demonize what is not in agreement with your limited, biased and temporal world view?

Most of all, will you look deep inside of yourself and flush out the ways where you will stand behind concepts of liberty, fairness, freedom and human justice just as long as it does not get too personal for you?

Knowing Where You Are

 

This week my husband and I were out walking in the woods on a trail we affectionately call “the little loop.” I have done this loop so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. Oftentimes I have been alone. At other times accompanied. I have ran it and walked it. I have been here in both the day and the night, and through every season and under every weather condition there is. I know it like the back of my hand.

But on this day, I do not. The loggers have been working here for months; leaving the trail and its surrounding landscape absolutely unrecognizable.

At times we can find a part of the trail, and at other times we have no idea where we are. The look and the feel of the woods is so unfamiliar. Where once there was a well worn trail, there are now branches and the tops of trees littering the landscape. Where once the woods felt enshrouded, it now feels wide open. Where once it was lush and warm, it now feels raw and exposed.

As I make my way, there is no just dropping into the motion of my own body. There are so many obstacles to navigate. So much footing to be aware of. At times, an agitation inside of me begins to arise. Over and over I have to remind myself that this is normal; that I am feeling as I do because what was so familiar, so easy, is no longer so. What once held me so effortlessly, now requires all of my attention. There is no going on automatic pilot here. And with the glass beer bottle I have retrieved from the ground, I struggle even more. Because the risk of falling is so great, I do not dare to put it into my pocket. Awkwardly I struggle to climb over things and keep my footing while still holding onto the bottle.

And even though my husband has got a compass, I am not convinced he has an understanding of the actual direction we are aiming for. Frustration shows up as we try and figure our way through this. At one point, I realize I need to do something different. I need to stop bashing up against what is. Stop fighting with how I want it to be. So I begin to look around to see if there is anything that looks familiar. Anything that hasn’t changed. There is. The little rolling “mountains” that encircle the area remain as they always have. I locate the top hump, and start to remember other times on the trail. Times when I knew where I was when I saw this landmark.

It is only then that something starts to open up. That I begin to locate myself. For me, this is one of the most profound gifts of Nature. Her ability to reflect back to me where I am.

What are we to do when the inner or the outer landscape changes so dramatically that we cannot recognize ourselves, or our lives anymore? Will we wander around aimlessly? Will we rage at the unfairness? Will we lament that the well-worn path we have always travelled by is no longer there?

Or will we orient ourselves to that which is steady, enduring and beyond surface level changes. What are those things for you? Do you even know?

Individually and collectively we are in a time that demands we become aware of what no longer is, for surely there is no going back. To even hope for a return to the way things were would be to miss the point. Completely. More than that, it would stand as a detriment to us All.

Listening For Truth

 

I love winter. The stillness. The quiet. The bare reality of it all. No frills. No demands. Other than, of course, to go in. To slow down. To do less. To tend to the roots. To descend into Truth.

This is a tall order in a world intent on doing. Replicating. Proving and demanding. Keeping up with it all. A tall order in a world that does not know how to make use of the sacred pause of the wisdom season of winter. And it shows. It is there in our rush to solve things without quieting down long enough to understand the full scope of what stands before us. It is in the frenzied fear-based energy that is intent on fixing, without fully understanding. Resulting in a kind of overwhelm that imposes solutions that have little chance to work because they come from a less than complete assessment.

This week, I recommitted myself to letting go of the places where I unnecessarily fight in my own mind. The places where I bang my head up against the proverbial brick wall. The places that burn. The places where I relentlessly spin my own wheels. Instead, vowing to use the noise and the chaos of the world to drive me ever deeper within. Deeper down into the long tap root of my very existence. The place that just is.

That is winter’s influence. A deeply distilled, spacious and endless depth. A place below the confusion, and ill-fated action. A place of unity, wholeness, and natural, effortless resolve. Try it. Sit down. Even if just for a minute. Breathe easily and naturally. When you feel ready, breathe your breath down, down, down. As if your legs were roots that extended deep into the Earth. Down, down, down. Sink lower and lower. Just this. Only this.

This is where Truth lives. When you get there, say to yourself, “Within me, beyond all that rises and falls, Truth remains.”*

 

* Sacred Rebel Oracle by Alana Fairchild.

Blog inspired by a friend who reminded me “To listen for Truth.”

Belonging

 

We have gotten very, very confused about what it means to belong. About what we are to, and for, each other. And it shows.

We look to how many followers we have, and how many likes we can get off of one another to tell us who we are and what it takes now to belong. We cover our cars with bumper stickers displaying for all to see what our interests, proclivities, politics, and proud parent moments are. We wear clothing, advertising as billboards do, our party affiliations, ideologies, and sports team preferences. We self-righteously declare where we belong based on the news we watch, the podcasts we follow, and the music we listen to.

We use the causes we care about, and the movements we back as proof that we are good and honorable people. And now, we cover our faces, high-handedly taking “hero” selfies post-vaccine at Gillette Stadium, as we isolate ourselves in our own homes. Making sure everyone knows what we are doing; engaging in these acts in superior and self-congratulatory ways as the ultimate gestures of proof that we belong on the “right” side of things.

Instead of lifting ourselves up, by being lifted up by others, we now use one of our most basic and essential human needs as a weapon against those not in the fold. Instead of resting in, and being supported by, each other, we use what we are aligned with as justification of not only who and what we are, but of who and what others are not. Thereby rendering them worthy of our disdain, judgment, and sanctioning.

Have humans, in some way or another, always done this? Likely. Especially when we moved beyond a survival-focused existence. But now, with all of our technologies, our ways of communicating, and our seemingly endless affiliations, something that is quite basic, natural, and innate has gotten very distorted. Even, at times, dangerously so. We saw this recently at our Capital, we see it daily in the anxiety and depression brought on by people’s social media obsession, and now we are seeing it in how we approach our very own health and healing.

The pull to belong is great. The need to belong is undeniable. The question is, how will we be with this now? Will we take one of the potentially sweetest and most essential needs and make it cruel, inhuman, and coercive? Legislating that others do as we do? Or will we pause and reconsider the costs of deriving our sense of community and right to belong based on something we post, wear, or inject into ourselves.

To know any of this is to know to whom and to what you most fundamentally belong. It is to know that before we can truly belong to anyone or anything else, we must first belong to ourselves. We must first know down into our bones that belonging stems from a timeless and unconditional right to exist. Meaning, there is absolutely nothing we need to do. Or not do. This transcends the dictates, mandates, and expectations of the times with its limited and too often small-minded agendas.

To really understand this is to look beyond what any human being has said or created, and to set your sights on something worthy of the preciousness of your own Life. Something that makes our modern day preoccupations and blindspots right-sized. Something that opens our eyes to what we have been agreeing to fit in with, that would be best never agreed to.

If you want to know what it really means to belong, look to the heavens. Look into the eyes of a child. Look into newly fallen snow, and the full moon casting its light. Look to the animals who sense beyond words, slogans, PR campaigns, governmental messaging, and media headlines. The ones who respond directly from an undeniable and never distorted existential belonging.

Underneath that, look to know the places to understand the “why” of what you are doing. The places beyond what others expect of you. The places where you do what you do not because it actually feels right or life-giving, but because you are too afraid to stick out. To be kicked out. To be shamed, labelled, and denied. And in this place, begin to know your own mind as the source of your most balanced and sacred belonging.

 

Devotion To Life

 

I have been offering a brief relaxation series for faulty and staff at the college where I teach, off and on, since last semester. This week one of the professors lingered afterwards to chat. He told me that since last spring when we covered the topic of news and its impact on the well-being of our nervous systems, he began to note his “obsessive” need to keep checking the numbers and the maps. Recognizing that this was serving as a source of great dis-ease, he made a pact with himself. If he couldn’t stop doing what he was doing, he was at least going to commit to something that might help balance out what he was exposing himself to.

What did he choose? Going for a walk. Each time that he would turn to hear more news, he would follow it up with a walk. Which meant, not only did he balance his choice, it served as a governor for how many times he could let his obsession run wild.

What a brilliant and intuitive choice. For we are, after all, Nature herself. What better way to return ourselves to homeostasis than by immersing ourselves in our own truest Nature. The quintessential place of reminding us of who we really are, and what it is that we actually need to be well. And informed. Then there is no fight. No confusion. No overwhelm. No obsession. For having returned to the most primal of truths about who we are in this body, every time we make the choice to be outside, we are able to take that knowing and apply it to how we are approaching what stands before us. Otherwise, separated from our truest natures, we bring great harm to ourselves, others, and the planet.

It is nothing short of world-wide sanity and self-preservation to choose for something beyond what comes across a screen. This is not easy to do in a world that continues to offer up so many seductive sub par alternatives to living. Ones that diminish our capacity to feel at home in our own bodies. Ones that tell us we must look outside of our own experience, our own very nature, to be safe. And saved. Messages that convince us we must fear life. Not only our own, but also, the billions and billions and billions of life forms that we share this planet with.

Nothing in Nature fears itself. Nothing in Nature makes up fears about other life forms. Nothing in Nature is anything less than completely devoted to its own Life. Only humans do this.

What would it be like to make an agreement with yourself that would balance out what it is you imbibe in that brings you misery? What would it look like for you to choose to be devoted to your own life instead? This is not complicated. When in doubt, look for the choices that you make that just don’t feel good. While the mind will always say why you have to do something or watch something, do you? Challenge whatever it is that takes you from being devoted to your truest Nature, and watch what it feels like to really be alive.

Witches in The Woods

 

I have a friend who hosts herbal trainings at our farm. She was here recently doing what she always does. But now, under the sway of the times, things are different. Meaning that when she arrived, instead of doing what we always do when we see each other, which is to give and receive a most generous hug, she instead whispered to me, “We’ll hug at the end after everyone leaves.”

There was a moment’s pause in the exchange as I caught up up to it all. And then, quite unexpectedly, these words fell out of my mouth; “It’s just like when we were witches in the woods and we had to hide the good we were doing.”

I have been thinking about it ever since.

There have been so very many times in history where the people who believed they were in the “right” turned out to be doing some very harmful things. An easy example of this is The Flexner Report “funded” by Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockerfeller and others interested in promoting one kind of “medicine” over any other; effectively demonizing, driving underground and wiping out many effective alternative holistic therapies. This not only set the stage for the rise of conventional medicine, it has effectively given the AMA a monopoly on how health care is constructed, practiced and delivered; with a massive feature being the denigration of anything that does not fall under its auspices.

History is rife with these kinds of examples.

Knowing this, could we be ever mindful of how we are stepping forward in these times? Especially, when we believe we are on the “right” side of things. Especially, when we would be tempted to go on a witch hunt against those whose perspectives we do not agree with. Or are afraid of. Or are unfamiliar with.

I write all of this as I am standing in the middle of the woods. I am so engrossed in getting the words down, that though I hear a rustling, I do not look up. Until I do. And in the looking up, I am blessed to see a young black bear tumble her way down the embankment towards me. It catches my breath and brings me to tears because I take all of this as a sign. A sign to keep going and trusting myself; despite the challenges of sometimes feeling alone in what I am sensing and knowing.

In some traditions Bear medicine represents introspection. The ability to go within. To pause. To reflect. In my mind I marry this teaching with the youth of the bear. With her innocence, openness and curiosity, And I begin to imagine what it would be like if we could all extend to one another a grace-filled combination of introspection and innocence when it comes to how and what we all believe in. Along with how it is that we treat those who believe differently than we do.

Especially if your opinion falls under the protection and auspices of the mind set and mandates currently in power, it would be a most gracious act indeed towards those of us not in the majority to be given the space we need to hold what we know to be true for us without being pushed out. Punished. Or vilified.

Because beyond it all, what if the point here is not whether or not you subscribe to anything in particular, and is instead about being more open around  another’s beliefs on how to be healthy? And what if we understood that beyond being “right,” beyond trying to eradicate what we do not understand, this moment in time centers around a big opportunity. The biggest of all. That being, to make space for All beliefs. A chance to change business as usual, where only one perspective is given the lion-share of credence, and instead to make sure that all perspectives and voices have a place at the table.

Even the witches.

Distress

 

We have chickens. For the past year we have had six of them. They are their own little flock; easy on each other and easy to be around. Last week, we brought in four new girls to join the existing flock. As you might imagine, the old girls did not take kindly to the new girls.

During the first night, for what seemed like hours to me, after we had closed them up in the coop, the distress calls began to ring out into the night and right into my living room. I opened the front door to hear better. I listened. And then I listened some more. Mostly though, I fretted. Were they all right? Were the old ones attacking the new ones? Would I find a bloody mess in the morning? Would it be my fault that I did not intervene? Finally, coming to the conclusion there was nothing to do, and in order to save my own sanity, I had to close the window. But I could still hear them.

Despite trying to reassure myself that they would work it out, something in me felt agitated and lit up by the distraught nature of their calling.

In the morning when I got into my practice, the same thing was being played out again. Over and over and over. It was driving me mad. My whole body, heart and mind was filled with their distress. I literally could not get beyond it. So much so, that I was driven off my mat and out to the coop to make sure no one was being harmed.

As soon as I arrived, the original girls, who were making all the noise, came over to me and quieted. It felt so good. And then, it didn’t. Because they started back up again.

Back on my cushion, I watched the agitation in me rise again and again based on their distress. And so I began to wonder about this. I know that it is natural for one sentient being to feel what is happening for another. That it is a necessary and essential part of being alive and being with others. And I also know that as a human being, I can muck up the works with my beliefs, habits and imprints about what it means to be with another’s suffering. This is especially so for some of us, more than others.

Because I know this about myself, I watched my thoughts and emotions around all of this. And what I found, way deep, deep down, was that my discomfort was not so much that they were distressed (although that was there). Not so much that I could not soothe them (although that was there). But mostly because I felt that their distress was somehow connected to my own well-being. In others words, that unbearable feeling I was having was less about them and more about me. It was me believing that if another is troubled around me, then somehow I cannot be OK. This leaves me doing the only thing I think I can do: Make another’s troubles my troubles.

Which takes me to something my astrologer recently said to me: “Two drowning people are not better than one.”  Or for that matter 50, or a thousand, or a million, or a world full of the distraught. Don’t get me wrong. This is not about ignoring suffering. It is instead, about not increasing it. About not taking on what is not yours. About not making a life out of being miserable because others are miserable. For the truth is, someone, somewhere, will always be in trouble. And if your happiness and well-being are linked to that, well, you get the picture.

The natural fact that we are indeed all inextricably bound aside, how often is our concern, our compassion, our empathy really about our need to get another to be okay so that we can be okay? In other words, how often are our altruistic, caring gestures, in fact, a kind of co-dependency? This can be very, very hard to hear for all of us caring souls. And yet,  getting clear on this is a crucial piece of the puzzle as we make our way forward in times where the distress is so palpable. So visible. So alarming.

Interestingly enough, if we take my small example of going out to the coop, there is guidance there. Because I made an effort to calm myself as I approached them, they were able to sense that, if even for a moment, giving them respite from their distress. Try it. Instead of jumping into the drowning pool with another, make yourself calm and be with them. No fixing. Just being, while being as okay as you can possibly muster.

Adaptation

 

I am not sure who is credited with the “boiling frog” analogy, but it goes like this: It seems that if you take a beaker of water, bring it to a boil, and try to submerge a frog into it, the frog will fight with all of its might to get away. On the other hand, if you take a frog and place it in a beaker of water of comfortable temperature, and then ever so slowly increase the heat, the frog will make no attempt to escape.

It will remain where it is, without struggle, unto its very demise.

I have at times heard teachers refer to us humans as boiling frogs. The point being that because we are so very, very adaptable, we can and we will, literally adapt to anything. Even if it hurts. Even if it harms. Even if it is insane. Even if it falls short of filling real human needs. Even if it means distorting our experience to such an extent that we no longer even resemble a human being, and what it is that we actually need to live. Even if it is based in fear.

How are we capable of this? More to the point, why? Why would we let ourselves get to the point of boiling our lives away?

To understand this one is to recognize that there are as many answers to these questions as there are reasons to avoid reality. As there are reasons to deny truth. As there are reasons to continue on with what has been passed down to us. As many reasons as there are to maintain the habits and addictions we cling to. As many reasons as there are to belong at any cost. And as many reasons as there are to forgo personal responsibility and choice in the face of great upheaval.

Did you know that nothing in Nature intentionally harms or distorts itself? That nothing in Nature brings about its own demise due to alienation from its truest Nature? That nothing in Nature abdicates the edicts of its own Life, while bending to the demands of what is unnatural?

Be very, very careful around what you allow yourself to be boiled in regarding “The New Normal.” Be very, very careful around confusing what is normal, that which is “naturally occurring,” with what has become a norm, that which is “an authoritative standard.”

Instead of opting for yet another “New Abnormal,” could we use this time to get clear on what actually makes sense to each and every one of us? What it is that goes beyond fears, norms, external standards, and the need to belong at any cost.

If this makes any sense to you, try this: Get outside. Breathe the air in deeply. Connect to something in the Natural world. And then, check in with yourself asking: “If I were not so afraid right now, what would I know to be true? Listen way down deep for the answer. Then, “What would I need to act on this?”

Give this to yourself as often as you can.

The Yin Turning Yang

 

As I step outside before the sun comes up to go for a walk in the woods, I am met by a bright moon on the waning side of full. The moon is setting in the west, while the sun has yet to come up in the east. Standing between these well-known polarities is also as it is now with the season. For while we are still moving towards the darkest depths of winter, at the same time, minute by minute each day, we move towards more light.

And yet, even with the light steadily, noticeably and undeniably increasing, we are still not even at the half-way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. I see all of this reflected in my own internal process where I am not yet “out of the dark” with some longstanding issues, while simultaneously I cannot deny that ever more the light is making its way back in. The Celts might call this a “betwixt and between” time and space. Not really exactly somewhere just yet. Not really on the other side of something, but somewhere in between.

All of it continues to show up in my mind in that I am both excited to be getting into the woods before sunrise, and also a little apprehensive. It is still dark after all. Who knows what moves in the dark? There is a back and forth between sensing the mystery of this time of day, and a fear of the dark and what it holds that ping pongs around in my mind until I stop on the trail in an attempt to stop the match in my mind.

Right next to me is an enormous boulder, a symbol of those things that are steady. Those things that are not subject to the made-up machinations of the mind. Directly up and to my right is the moon, and directly up and to my left is the sky just beginning to brighten. I cannot help but see the metaphor in standing exactly between these two powerful and primordial forces; the light and the dark. Neither good, nor bad. Neither one better than the other. Both with its own particular sets of gifts and challenges to offer.

And while many of us might prefer the light, there is so much to be had from the dark. So much to be discovered in the depths of Winter’s shadow. Thinking all of this I round some bend, and suddenly there is just so much more light. A small part of me is relieved, while a part that longs for something more grieves the loss; not just of the dark but of the time I have spent being afraid of it. For I recognize that in my fears of being in the dark, and wishing it were light-filled, that I am missing something when I wish it was other than it is. That the dark is not a place to be missed, avoided, feared, wished away, or navigated half-heartedly. But instead, something to be deeply honored. Accepted. Welcomed in even.

Good news. We are still in winter where darkness prevails. Which means we still have plenty of time to gather the teachings and the healings that are only possible in the darkest of times. While never easy, it cannot be avoided. For as sure as there is light, there is dark.

Memory

 

We memorize ourselves into existence. And we do this through all that has come before; giving us a sense of solidness and known-ness. A kind of comfort and stability that comes with years and years of thinking and doing our lives in the same way, leaving us in the position to say “This is who I am.”

And as much as we all desire this place, it is ultimately limiting.

For what if there was something more? Something beyond what you were told, and what you now go on to tell yourself? Something that somewhere deep down inside you yearn for? More to the point: You Are. Or could be.

It would mean, of course, learning to know yourself as more than the familiar concepts and constructs. And it would mean taking a chance. A big one. It would mean being curious and open. Brave and alive. It would mean being nothing less than who you truly are.

But given the filled-to-the-brim and fast pace of so many of our lives, this can be all too difficult to tune into, never mind respond to. Luckily though, we are in the season that knows all about this. Winter. The deepest, stillest and most essential of all the seasons is right at our finger tips. And if we can learn to align with this powerful rhythm, we will be naturally drawn into its downward and inward ways.

Try being with this kind of energy for just one minute each day throughout the long winter months ahead. You can do it by intentionally sitting yourself down and allowing yourself to be. As you are. Do not try and do anything to yourself. Do not look to fix. Do not even move. And when you feel a settling all the way down to your bones, wonder gently to yourself about your relationship to nothing-ness, stillness, and quiet.

At first it can feel like a kind of death; some kind of intolerable exercise in the painful. And it is. But if you look deeply enough, what is dying are all of the things that get in the way. What is dying is the noise. What is dying are the ways we have memorized the wrong things about who and what we are.

I think the reason that winter can feel so long to us, is because of all that it asks. Because of the way that it calls for a kind of reckoning. And because it can leave us crawling our way to the end. For sure it is a task master. But it is one that will gift those courageous enough to be with her, with many, many insights and blessings for years to come.