|El Malpais, New Mexico|
I hated it. The cold, grey days. The howling winds. The snow that had lost its freshness and beauty, and instead lay about in misshapen lumps, just waiting for the weather to become warm enough to melt it.
Then, one day, I was talking to a good friend. She said, "I love February." I looked at her like she was crazy. She explained further; I extrapolate here.
February is a month to turn to look at the beauty within. It is a time to be thankful for warmth and all that protects us from the cold outside; cold that could destroy us in a matter of minutes if it chose.
It is time to look at firelight and candlelight, and to see reflected there the people we are within. As the trees shed their covering cloak of leaves and show the strength and structure beneath, so it is time to look within ourselves for the same strengthening framework. For some, it is straight and tall, symmetrical and beautiful. For others, it is gnarled, scarred and wounded. Yet for all, it holds our life force. Sleeping for this time of winter, growing inside, putting down new roots, mending wounds from the storms of summer.
Yes, sleep my friends, my leaves, my mantle of green. Sleep, knowing your season will be here soon. Sleep, knowing your inner strength will hold you through the cold, and awaken you when the gentle days of spring say it's time to burst forth in your song of flower and scent.
Sleep in Peace. Amen.