Winter's Cocoon

Winter journeys forward.  We are locked in its embrace.                      
We are barren.  
The weather hardens us
    and we resign to the long wait for spring.  

We find quiet places, sacred spaces…
           sanctuaries that bring us comfort and warmth.  

       Beauty is found in such simple constructions;
sunlight on new glistening snow,
pine boughs overloaded, and the clear, blue sky stretching forever…
the simple beauty of a leafless tree
or ice crystals on a frozen window.  

Some days are stormy and restless
while others are peaceful and brilliant.  
Snow drifts keep reforming.   
The air becomes hard to breathe
as temperatures plummet.  
Short days and endless nights…
we are in the heart of winter.  

We are told that in the depths of winter
there rests within us the dormant seeds
of another vigorous summer.   
The journeying soul has its doubts.  

We are confined in a lifeless cocoon.  
What we attempt to do freezes up.  
All our activity comes to a standstill.                                             
Our souls surrender and wait.                                       
Without the gracious work of the Holy Spirit                                              
in breathing “new life” in us, we are impotent.                                          

We slowly acclimate to the land of snow.  
We slowly find our grounding and center again.
Restfulness and watchfulness grow.  
We find a new pace.  We curl up in cozy places…
quietly reflecting, listening:  
not doing much of anything.   
Contemplation is slow, deliberate, and unhurried.   
We find great spaces in which to dissolve.   
Patience, once taken for granted, is a virtue.
Deeper concentration and focus…
looking for little signs of life within and without,
preoccupy our time.

It is said that the darkest hour is just before the dawn.  The darkness
seems endless.  
The ghosts of the past haunt us.  
We must be quieted in order to hear.  
This is a time of deep communion.

In the Song of Songs 2:14 we read,
“My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the
mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice
is sweet and your face is lovely.”  

Some of the deepest and most intimate encounters
with the Spirit of God come during the darkest times.  
He sees our timidness.  He sees us hiding, lost…
no where to go or clueless in what to do.  

And He says, “Show me your face, let me hear your voice.”   
The inner face is what the Lord desires to see
and the inner voice the Lord desires to hear.

And from this place of emptiness,
we turn and show our faces and He says,
“Your face is lovely.”  
And when we speak, He says,
“Your voice is sweet.”  

What astounding grace!  
When we are nothing, when we are empty…
He visits us!  

His word warms the depths of our being.  
Our imagination stirs.  
The ancient muddy soul nourishes the roots.  
The first crocus shoots through the barrier of crusty-snow in late

In that inner sanctuary may you hear those words, “Your voice is sweet
and your face is lovely.”  

Our journey continues….

                          Hope Deferred--March
Soul Journey Through the Seasons
Following the Golden Thread--02/07