Sunday, December 27, 2009

Time of Waiting, Time of Expectancy

Yesterday, we went from this and this, which are beautiful in their own right, although not helpful for getting horses outside, to this and this. We were supposed to get 1 to 2" of snow, and ended up with almost a foot - it was one of those magical snows - it looked just like the inside of one of those snow balls you shake up - large flakes that drifted silently and heavily down all day. It is a soft snow, easy to wade through with your boots - it just moves aside effortlessly.

In our part of the world, this is the time when the earth seems to be holding its breath, sleeping its winter sleep and waiting for spring. I think this time is what gives the spring and summer when things are growing and flowering their especial poignancy, since we know it will come to an end again and it will be winter. But I value the special qualities of this season - I love the quiet of an almost windless, snowy day, where the flakes drift down, and pile up, and eddy gently into corners.

This is the dark time of year, when night and stars seem more present than sun and day. It is a time for silence, thought and contemplation. Looking on what has been done, what is to come, while not forgetting here, now - which is where I more and more think my attention really should be. The dark time of year is one of incubation, of gestation and hidden growth and renewal. Due to our barn situation, little riding takes place this time of year - the horses also are resting and waiting. It's this time of year that I recollect, in terms of recalling to mind and also in terms of gathering myself in preparation for time to come. With the horses, it's a time of tending and caring, wrapped up in our barn with its warm lights shining out onto the snow. This time of year reminds me that what I really care about with my horses is our connection, our relationship, and that this remains whether any riding or formal work goes on or not, and the work of our relationship goes on every day. Besides, just listening to horses chew hay is one of my favorite things, and I get to do a lot of that this time of year!

I've always liked the week between Christmas and New Year's. When I worked in an office, I never took vacation during this week - very few people were working, there were almost no meetings or business trips, and it was possible to get much done, undisturbed. I usually don't make New Year's resolutions, but this week is a time when I like to think about where I am and where I might be going, either by my own choice or not. I plan, I organize, I read, I think. It's a time of year to pause, consider and take a deep breath.

Enjoy the dark nights and short days, and the cold, and remember that in the darkness is often the beginnings of light!


  1. Lovely perceptions.

    Sorry, I still hate the snow..but it is pretty until you have to deal with it.

    What I enjoy is watching each day grow longer and longer as the winter wears on. The darkness is potent and lingering, but time begins to expand again as the days go by, promising changes ahead.

    This year, with my surgery, I am stuck in my own nest of inactivity, rather more the observer than participant. It is indeed a quiet time.

  2. This is such a beautiful blog post! I am going to do what you are this week: think and sort, and read and make plans. Sounds mellow and right.

  3. Nice post.I get more down time this week as well ,with hubby off I have few chores. A little respite then back at it till spring!Enjoy

  4. What a wonderful post. I do love it when it snows (although honestly I did not in Vermont because I got so sick of it) because it is always so quiet and peaceful outside when it is snowing. I have not had much computer time the last several days for obvious reasons but wanted to wish you a belated Merry Christmas. I am glad you avoided being iced in!

  5. Love your posts. I always think that when snow is falling, nature is holding its breath. It seems so silent. Be safe and strong minded at this time... I always imagine that the weather can rob one of any mental strength.

  6. I totally agree. This week is a week for reflection.

  7. took the words right out of my mouth! I feel the same way you do and have a great appreciation for all the seasons for different reasons. Your writing is terrific!

  8. What lovely words you have written. I think of you in the quiet of winter with the snow flurries all about. Your post has made me reflect on the relationship I have with my horses.I find myself building a real love for the grey in my paddock. Not because he is gorgeous...but because he talks to me. He is the sort of horse that could become a best friend. So even in the summer of NZ your post has made me take the time to think and reflect.

  9. What a calm, bright post. I agree completely that this week between the two holidays is especially good for planning and contemplation. It is like a "free" week. I have always thought that - even when I was little and was in school.
    Enjoy your lovely snow. It sounds pretty and quiet.

  10. What a peaceful, beautiful ending...I totally, totally love it and can relate to that. Thank you!! Have an amazing New Year! :)

  11. Wow - nicely written post - very poignant! :-) We had the exact same weather as you guys...must've been the same weather system.

    Bright and sunny today, so I need to head out to the barn!

  12. This post really resonanted with me as I feel exactly the same. Winter is the time of rest - for me and the horses - and underneath it all the growth is still happening.

    May there be more snow and less ice in your future; and no early frosts.


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