(re)Imagine Winter

Winter

After a frenetic and disjointed week caused by a winter’s snow, it seems seasonally appropriate to offer a winter themed iChapel this week.  In addition to last week’s frosty interlude, several yearly events crept across our calendars over the past seven days.  Frist, Friday brought the Chinese New Year, Saturday was the celebration of Imbolc, and Sunday was marked by a ground hog’s showdown with his shadow.  While separate, these three events over the weekend share in common a peculiar marking of the calendar, symbolizing the passing of time.

The Chinese New Year is a lunar celebration commemorating the end of one year and the arrival of another.  Importantly, this is a celebration less about the progression of time, as the Chinese calendar does not traditionally mark years to accumulate them.  Rather, it is a celebration that focuses on the circular, repeating rhythms of one year’s ending to being the cycle of life, again.  Imbolc, a Celtic winter festival, signifies the midway point of winter, a pivot point between the Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox.  Similarly, Groundhog Day is that moment drawn from deep Teutonic roots, relying upon the mercurial disposition of a land-beaver to predict the remaining length of winter.  While certainly disparate, the Chinese New Year, Imbolc, and Groundhog Day share more than a weekend on our calendars.

All three signify a lingering and latent desire to move from darkness to light, from the old to the new, from the chill of winter to the warming beams of spring.  As last week’s winter weather reminds, this frosty season is certainly in control.  But, as these three festivals uplift, winter’s reign is but for a season, a season shortening by the day.

To honor winter’s presence while, also, looking forward to spring, I offer this poetic reflection on this season.  Enjoy the poem by Nikki Giovanni, keep warm, and share with me a hope for the coming of spring, a hope that lengthens with each day’s gentle celestial turn.

Peace and see you along the way.

“Winter”

Nikki Giovanni

once a snowflake fell

on my brow and i loved

it so much and i kissed

it and it was happy and called it’s cousins

and brothers and a web

of snow engulfed me then

i reached to love them all

and i squeezed them and they became

a spring rain and i stood perfectly

still and was a flower

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