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Winter in forest - Photo by Donnie Rosie on Unsplash

This winter feels different.  Winter in forest - Photo by Donnie Rosie on Unsplash

Seriously, I know we’re in year #@$& of a pandemic, but doesn’t it feel like something is….shifting? In our hard-wiring, our priorities or maybe even our vision?

I feel like years from now, if you and were to meet and reflect on our lives, we would point to this winter and say,

“That was the winter I _______.”

Yes, I know there’s a blank. Were you hoping I’d fill that in for you? I know I’m over here reflecting out loud with you, but your blank is your blank to fill in (she said with love), so I’ll just leave it open, like an invitation.

But you know what say to fill in my blank if I were a betting woman? (Ooooooo! Pick me, pick me! This is where I’d remind you of Horshack on Welcome Back, Kotter…remember that!?)

“That was the winter I learned how to winter.”

Seriously, I feel like I’m obsessed with winter lately, and that’s just so….different for me. I’ve written about my relationship to winter before and how I’ve dreaded it, tolerated it, mocked it, kvetched about it, tried to grin and bear it…but now?

Something in me is going all honeybadger on winter, hunting down every morsel of nourishment it offers, and learning how to be with this season as if I’m experiencing it for the first time.

Exhibit A: I am keenly aware of my roots right now.

In fact, I got a root canal this past Tuesday—a fun way to round out a holiday weekend! But before you click reply (because you know I love when you do…) and wish me all the best on my molar, let me tell you how excited I was for it.

In fact, I woke up that morning and said to my husband, “I have never wanted a root canal more badly…”

The week before I got a new iPhone and joked that migrating all that data and sim-card shizzle from my old phone to my new phone would prove to be more painful than the root canal I had scheduled for the following week. And it kinda was.

But when I got in that chair on Tuesday I started weeping—it was not out of fear or anxiety, but relief, as I’d been feeling like something was going on for two years, but everyone kept telling me I was fine.

Turns out I wasn’t fine. Or at least my root wasn’t—it was doing its damndest to survive on top of an abscess.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

It’s hard for roots to be nourished if the soil they’re planted in is sick and tired?

I used to have this client who told me to watch for her to tear up because that’s where she was closest to her truth.

The truth in my tears this past Tuesday was that I was proud of my unrelenting advocacy for something that didn’t feel quite right in my body.

The truth was that I had finally “gotten to the root” of the matter and was relieved that the healing could now begin in earnest.

I came home that afternoon and got a text from a client, thanking me for a book I had apparently recommended to her. She said she was loving it. The book?

Exhibit B: Rooted.

I kid you not. The irony…

I made a note to buy the book (which was new to me), settled in with my numbed mouth and my new favorite, Wintering by Katherine May, and happened upon this passage:

“Wintering brings some of the most profound and insightful moments of our human experience, and wisdom resides in those who have wintered. In our relentlessly busy contemporary world, we are forever trying to defer the onset of winter. We don’t ever dare to feel its full bite, and we don’t dare to show the way that it ravages us. An occasional sharp wintering would do us good….we must stop trying to ignore them or dispose of them. They are real, and they are asking something of us. We must learn to invite the winter in. We may never choose to winter, but we can choose how.”

So my question for you is this, my friend.

How have you invited winter into your roots?

And if you come up empty on that one, here’s another one to try:

How would you like to fill in your ________ this winter?

The winter is still young, you’ve got time.

In the meantime, I’m over here, sending you loads of love and a glowing hot coal for your fire.


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