Riding The Wheel Of The Year: Late Winter/Early Spring
It’s February as I write this, and upstate New York is paying in spades for our love of four distinct seasons. With weeks of bone-shattering cold, an historic weather-maker system barreling through, and storm after storm burying us in the Schoharie Valley. Still, according to the calendar (and Punxsutawney Phil and his other groundhog cohorts), spring is not far off at all.
The transition from winter to spring is a time of new green, of blossoming, of finding beauty popping up in unexpected places. Bulbs planted in the fall, seedpods that spun to the ground with the dying leaves, all sleep under the winter snows, waiting to germinate as the days lengthen and the ground warms.
And as spring approaches, the more practical of us think about spring cleaning. The house has been shut up through the winter, both windows and doors… the shed full of bicycles and garden trowels and Super CarWax has slumbered unnoticed… the unremitting cold and lack of sunlight have encouraged us all to hunker down, shrink our spheres of influence and attention, and, like the animals and plants, wait for warmer times.
The metaphysical axiom “as above, so” is rarely better illustrated that in this change of seasons. So we present to you here a new meditation, to get your mind and heart and soul as ready for Spring as your body is.
Settle into a quiet place, where you will not be disturbed. Use incense, candles, whatever will create within you the easy flow outward to meet your Guides.
Relax. Get comfortable. Get your wiggles out and settle down.
Close your eyes and take a deep cleansing breath in… and let it gently go.
Again: in…clean out your lungs, pull in sweet oxygen… and let it out.
One more time… in… and.. out.
Locate your Center-point. Feel yourself completely balanced, completely at ease. Feel your spine lengthen like a taproot, planting itself deep in the Earth, giving you strength and stamina. Let the top of your head, your Crown Chakra, open like a skylight, letting in the Cosmic Light. You are now settled, anchored, and can let your body go. It will take care of itself while you walk the corridors of thought and imagination.
Now…bring yourself out into a green space outside your house. It might be your own back yard…the woods or meadow just down the road…a city park that you love to visit.
What do you see, for now? Is it snow covered and cold? Muddy and slushy? Simply an expanse of grass browned and dry from the winter weather? Take it in. Acknowledge that this scene is but the beginning of growth. Not death, but sleep and waiting.
Look at yourself. How are you dressed for the occasion? What coat, what shoes or boots? Hat and gloves? What colors and materials have you dressed yourself in? Examine your clothing, and explore what it says about how you have cloaked yourself in thoughts and doings over the past few months.
Now, begin to walk. And as you walk, keep your eyes trained on the ground. Soon, you will begin to see signs of spring. What do you find? There’s a flower: what does it look like? How does it manage against the wind? Is it one large one, or a group of smaller blossoms? What is its color? How does it smell?
Bend down and pluck the flower. Another will grow instantly in its place; know that it is glad to be with you. And as you cup it in your hands, breathe on it gently. It will open up, and in its center is a gift … something to help bring the spring into your own life. What is it? How can you use it? What does it touch inside you that wants to grow?
Tuck the blossom and its gift into your pocket, and go on. Now, raise your eyes and begin to look at the trees and bushes around you. Walk and observe until something special catches your eye. Is it the buds on the trees? Blossoms on a forsythia bush? Whatever is growing that calls to you, approach it. Admire it. Welcome it. And then, pluck a bit of it, knowing that another bud or blossom will appear instantly in its place.
Put what you’ve plucked in your mouth. Feel its shape and texture. Then slowly start to chew. Its nourishment for you can taste like anything – sweet, sour, salt, bitter; full or thin; clean or loamy. What is its taste to you? What does it remind you of? How does it propose to nourish you?
Your final outside task is to observe the animals in the landscape. What kinds do you see? How many are there? What are their actions, their movements? Are they scared of you, or friendly, or do they not even notice you are there?
One animal decides to approach you. Which one have you inwardly called? What does it look like? Notice how it interacts with you. Does it speak? Does it bring a gift? Be with this creature unafraid; it has chosen to be part of your process. What is its meaning for you?
And now…return to your house. Take your flower gift, and any others you have received, and place them on your kitchen table. Shuck off your coat, stamp your feet to loosen snow or mud from your shoes, strip off the hat and gloves. There is a small chest by your front door into which you may place them. As you close the lid, it snaps shut, with a little sign that says “open again December 21st.”
Sit with your gifts. Let them speak of spring to you, what you wish to do with this new season. And as you contemplate them, feel the house grow warmer – not with firewood or heater warmth, but sunlight. As you turn your gaze to your windows, you notice the winter scene melting at the edges, as if the spring wants to banish winter instantly and altogether.
You know that in order for spring to complete its task, YOU must help it along. You roll up your sleeves and go to your closet with all your cleaning materials. What’s in your cupboard? Mops, brooms, buckets? What kind of bottles and jars? What do their labels say? Are they new or old, empty or full? What do they especially want to clean and remove that has been lingering all winter?
Feel the heady warmth run through your veins like champagne. It energizes you, excites you, and you begin to tackle the entire house, room by room. Which rooms are most in need of cleaning? What does that say about your thoughts, your habits, your beliefs about what goes on in each of those rooms? What room would you go to first? How do you clean each one? Which gift that you received will be of especial help in each room? Notice that every time a room is finished and cleaned, a little more of winter melts away from the outside view.
Fling open the windows and doors. What do you sense being “blown away” in the spring breeze? What does it send in for you? Finally, you step into the middle of your house – now clean, shining, beautiful, refreshed. You turn and see your green space outside your window. It is full of new growth, green, floral, trees fully leaved and waving in the wind. Your helper animal stands with its tribe among a large grouping of your special flower. The bush or tree that gifted you has miraculously planted itself in your yard, growing and blossoming with vigor and beauty.
Take it all in. Take in all that you have done. Acknowledge the growth you have achieved, perhaps slumbering and unbeknownst to you during the time of frost and dark. Focus all your thoughts, all your desires for the coming season, all your lessons, in the palms of your cupped hands. Watch as one miraculous seed materializes.
Take it outside and plant it among your guides and friends. As you cover it with soil, whisper to it what you intend for it to grow into. Bless it, bless your helpers, and thank the Source of All for bringing you through the winter to this moment. Consign your seedling to the Source, knowing that it will get everything – sun and rain, warmth and nourishment –it needs to grow.
Let the scene fade. Feel yourself coming back into your body. Let your consciousness flow back into feet, hands, torso. And when you are ready, open your eyes.
And get ready for a delicious and exhilarating Spring.