Strength Beneath The Surface


I want to talk about winter and why I love it so. I want to talk about it through the walk I took this morning after a two day snow storm, that had dumped upwards of two feet, was finally over. And I can sum it all up in two words: depth and stillness.

As I stepped out onto the road, the hush that came through the snowy cushioning on the trees and on the road was palpable. More than palpable, I could feel it to the depths of me. I felt it in the sound my boots made as they met the un-plowed road, and I felt in the quiet of the forest with animals hunkered down and un-moving. The power of this cushioning came into full relief when I did not even hear the car that had come up behind me. Even with a big, weighty, noisy machine, winter and its ways had dampened and subdued its impact. It is times like this when I almost have the feeling of traveling under water. Of moving at the bottom of a big, white, beautiful ocean of space and stillness.

And then there are the trees, and the way that you can see right through them. The space that opens up once the foliage is gone, offering the opportunity to see right down to the bone. Both inside and out. And the way that the sound then both travels differently, and is lessened; giving rise to a feeling of immense spaciousness both within and without.

At my turnaround point, I laid down in the road. It was so still. And this is why I do it. Why I make it a point to get outside all through the winter. For out of that stillness comes healing, creativity, inspiration and a deep, deep knowing beyond the push-pull of the mind. Beyond the inner and outer expectations. Beyond the noise of the world.

Align. Align with this energy and watch what happens. There is a reason for phrases like “winter wonderland.” A reason for why we have stories that talk of the magic that only comes out of deep and wintery places.

In the room where I do my daily practice, the wall behind where the wood stove will go has not yet been finished with the stone that will eventually cover it. Today, sitting on my mat after my walk, I looked up to read the words, “Strength Beneath The Surface.” And while this is the motto for the drywall company, in that moment I knew it was also the motto for winter. For that is what resides in the roots; beyond the dressing of the foliage and beyond the activity of doing. A kind of deep, still, quiet strength that can only make its way to the surface when we choose to align with the depth and stillness of winter.

What would it be like for you to take a cue from this season and all that it knows?