You can feel Winter close…Autumn’s hues moving into wetness, cold, early darkness and nature’s slumbering (except for my kikuyu grass!). Someone rang the other day, I said: ‘Oh what a lovely day’. He said, ‘you mustn’t have been in Denmark long, winter is coming!’
I am sitting here reflecting how in these last few weeks, Australia has witnessed with horror and tender anticipation the coming out of the earth and darkness of our Tasmanian miners; and the running over of brave and big hearted 5 year old Sophie from Sydney – another car accident; and all having to face survival, suffering and the unknown.
I also wait to go to Perth to hold a dear older woman’s funeral – a beautiful soul who has fought the battle of cancer so well. ‘Loretta will you come and hold my funeral’. Yes of course!’ The next day I rang back, ‘would you like me to come now before you go!’ So with all the family members including little grandchildren, we planned a funeral celebration. But the most memorable part: ‘I am ready, I am complete, I am filled with so much love, it is fine, and I look forward to the next Great Adventure.’ She has ‘won life’s challenge’.
Winter is indeed that time of entering the Season of letting go into the earth, of going more inside, of quiet, of a different stillness, of soups and a close- by nourishment. Michael Leunig, Australia’s natural philosopher, a cartoonist, invites us into the Heart of Winter:
‘We give thanks for the blessing of winter:
Season to cherish the heart.
To make warmth and quiet for the heart.
To make soups and broths for the heart.
To cook for the heart and read for the heart.
To curl up softly and nestle with the heart.
To sleep deeply and gently at one with the heart.
To dream with the heart.
A long, long time of peace with the heart.
We give thanks for the blessings of winter;
Season to cherish the heart,