Can you imagine that each season, as it arrives, brings with it a welcome? A welcome to the world as it is, in this particular season, at this particular time. Can you imagine being welcomed into winter, for example. What might it look like and feel like to know yourself welcomed by winter?
We could start with the soft grayness of the sky and hills, especially after rain – a softness which doesn’t move one to cover their eyes, but to quiet just a little and breathe in the fresh moistness. And the clouds – the variable and moving clouds, especially those that settle in to hug the fields and the valleys between the hills, like blankets. The darkness of course, with its invitations to rest, to reflect, to contemplate, to sleep, to keep covers on for longer each morning. And the stars – when the clouds part in the night sky, and stars can be seen even through the bare branches of trees. And here in this valley, at the edges of hills and woods, owls, who converse around the neighborhood as night begins and as morning begins as well. Don’t forget the cold – the breath of the north, the bringer of snow and ice and their unique expressions of beauty.
Can we allow ourselves to feel this welcome, to be welcomed, a few times a day, and to understand the welcome as generosity – the generosity of the turning earth, of the waxing and waning seasons. A generosity of variety, of breadth and depth of life, of life beyond our expectations. And if we can imagine this welcoming generosity, then might we ourselves become part of the welcome, part of the generosity, as a practice of understanding what we are part of? The season offers us all of this. All that’s needed from us is to enter in, with gratitude. May we feel the welcome of winter as a season of generosity, and may we respond with generous hearts and minds to spread the welcome to all who are in need of it.