The Final Morning of Winter
We are almost there. This is the final morning of winter this year until just before Christmas nine months from now.
Tomorrow will be the first morning which is not winter since last year.
Some of us can hardly wait until winter is over tomorrow. They have endured three months of ice, snow, and bitter cold. For them, winter is a test to be endured and survived which builds character.
For some of us, near where I live, this winter has not been so bad. We have received much needed rain which has ended a significant drought. There was even one day when there was snow in the air.
Winter can be an extreme season, even here.
No matter what weather they bring you, there is a special stillness of winter mornings. Each morning is unique and we do not always listen to the stillness. When we do we find a quality of stillness on winter mornings we remember.
Even the final morning of winter does not disappoint us.
The final morning of winter is not something we are used to recognizing. Our phones do not remind us of it and it is not listed on our calendars. There are no prescribed ways to commemorate or appreciate the final morning of winter.
Many of us are eager to rush on to the first day of spring.
This morning is an excellent opportunity to stop and listen to sacred stillness. It is our last chance to listen to the particular stillness of a winter morning for nine months.
Please join me and take a few minutes to listen and hold the stillness of the final morning of winter closely.
We still have time to take a deep breath and listen to the stillness of a winter morning this winter.
Stepping Into the Final Morning of Winter
There is nothing quite like first thing in the morning. People and cities are just beginning to wipe the sleep from their eyes. The first cup of coffee tastes the best. The air is fresher. There is not as much traffic on the streets or on the sidewalks. Walking is easier. Aromas of breakfast fill the air. The second cup is almost as delicious.
Each morning is a new beginning. No matter what happened yesterday, no matter how much or how little we actually slept. Each morning brings something fresh, something new. It may evaporate quickly, but it was still there at the start of each day.
The challenge for us can be the accumulation of things which hide the uniqueness of this morning.
Many of us feel we are opening our eyes each morning on an obstacle course. All around us are the things we wish we had solved and organized and completed yesterday, or the day before. We find ourselves surrounded by expectations and responsibilities.
How can we appreciate or enjoy the final morning of winter when so many things get in our way?
Can we actually follow a contemplative practice when we have so many other important things to do?
There is enough time for us to pay attention to the stillness of this morning.
Every morning is filled with challenges and opportunities. How we approach this final morning of winter is more significant than the schedules we face.
What is the stillness of this morning offering us? How will we respond?
Being Open to the Final Morning of Winter
I get up while it is still dark. Even though the light of day is growing longer we are saving daylight so we can enjoy it during our evenings. The final morning of winter is still and calm, even here where it is already getting warm.
Waking up early so we can listen to sacred stillness, we close our eyes and put the obstacles behind us. Breathing deeply and calmly helps us pay attention to the stillness of this final morning of winter.
We listen, becoming open again to the sacred stillness within us. Letting go of whatever distracts us we go beyond thoughts, words, and feelings. The sacred stillness within us recognizes the stillness in the world around us. The stillnesses are the same, one large stillness flowing back and forth.
It can be a challenge on winter mornings not to turn over and go back to sleep. The final morning of winter draws us into itself and we listen.
Full of depth and meaning, the final morning of winter shares itself with us and we are open to it.
We spend a few minutes open to what the final morning of winter offers us.
Where the Final Morning of Winter Will Lead Us
This is our last opportunity to be open to sacred stillness on a winter morning for months. Do we take time to listen or do we rush off to do the next thing on our list?
When we sit in the darkness and the stillness of the final morning of winter it opens itself to us. Taking time to practice being open to what it offers, we begin to recognize the life it holds.
It is easy for us to be distracted by what we assume is urgent and important. As we listen we realize what is urgent is often not important and what is important does not always feel urgent.
We will not be able to listen to the stillness of another winter morning until months from now. This is an opportunity we do not want to miss.
The final morning of winter, like all mornings, has deep truths to share with us. Are we willing to listen?
When will we listen to sacred stillness on this final morning of winter?
What will we hear as we listen to sacred stillness on the final morning of winter?
[Image by kengi2000]
Greg Richardson is a spiritual life mentor and coach in Southern California. He is a recovering attorney and a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com, and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.