In the typical calendar of the Western World, December is the last month of the year. However, December in the Christian calendar is the first month of the year and is called the season of Advent which culminates in the twelve days of Christmas. This yearly event points to Life’s adventures which bring poverty and riches, sorrows and joys, dangers and opportunities, darkness and light, ignorance and illumination. December points to these dualities by bringing them together as the soul of Winter.
In itself, the soul is an enigma to most people as is the season of Winter. The one word that usually describes it is mystery. It’s the unknown and known local and non local essence that all things are born with and which lives on when the physical form dies. It’s a real presence from the divine world where intimacy has no barrier or limit. The physical form is where the soul shows itself in primordial innocence, brightness and generativity. It’s the messenger of Life that is revealed everywhere.
To welcome December is to open to the amazing transformation that takes place in Winter. It includes the natural composting that’s generated as the leaves become soil to nurture new growth in the world of plants. It shows itself in the invisible caves the pregnant female Bears create for themselves in the snowy depths during their annual hibernation, birthing and nursing. It reveals itself in the ice that covers the lakes and streams while they silently flow and refresh themselves and the world.
Advent, Adventure, Advantage all speak to the mystery of new beginnings, a venturing forth in new ways to discover the wonder, wisdom, stillness and silence of Winter. It wasn’t until my mid twenties that I discovered this promise of new life within the Winter season of soul. It came as I spent the Winter alone in a primitive cabin in the Colorado Rockies at eleven thousand feet embracing the depths of darkness, cold, snow and solitude from the inside out. The discontent that brought me to this place was transformed into the promise of love, joy and peace for myself and all creation.
How do you welcome the season of Winter in this month of December? When do you fight the elements that show up within and without? Why do you spend so much time fussing about the external forms while ignoring the internal substance? For some, this month is a time of stress because of all the external ‘things’ that demand attention and time. Is this you and if so, can you take a break from the external shoulds, musts, oughts and have tos. I’m in the midst of a physical move and this is me talking to me.
I’m learning that I must make lists when necessary and give them soulful consideration. There are certain things that have to be accomplished and I’m now beginning to find the soulful presence in these moments of movement. It’s a matter of listening to the inner promptings of soul while following these promptings with a sense of peace, joy and loving companion presence. Within these reflective moments, as the sun shows up too late and leaves too early, I note that there’s still lots of inner work to accomplish here.
This is the wonder of reflection, inner observation and discovery in this curious processive season of soul. To gain the world and lose my soul has been an education. To regain my soul while losing my old world of antagonism, desire, anxiety and fear is the new work. It’s drawing me to physically move in the beginning of winter to a place eight hours away from where we live. It’s challenging and nurturing all at the same time. Gain and loss, letting go, letting come, surrendering to love. Welcome December!
So here we are at the end of another day where I’m looking out the window at five thirty in the afternoon to a dark outside with a light inside. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to put these words on this page and smile at my own foolishness and wisdom, scarcity and abundance, darkness and light. Welcome December, my old friend. Welcome Winter, my guiding light. Welcome to you my soul friends. May we embrace the mystery of new beginnings with solace and strength, pardon and renewal. May we Welcome all.
- Take some time this week to Welcome December into your heart and soul by seeing the beauty that’s all around and flowing through you. Feel the love, joy, peace and promise of the moment and breathe with it for as long as you can.
- Reflect on the new beginnings that are showing themselves to you from the inside out. Notice how receptive and resistant you are to the new. Be curious, wonder why.
- After you go to bed and before you go to sleep, venture into the wonder of your day. I wonder. . ? I wonder. . ? I wonder. . ? Then before you get out of bed in the morning, experience the stillness and silence of this new Winter day. Experience the sweet serenity and carry it with you in your awakened moments as you make your way.