Winter is a time of stillness, a time to rest as we gather our resources for the coming Spring. As a result, it tends to be a time of reflection and reevaluation. The shorter, darker, and generally colder days also seem to lead to a bit of despair and fear. We wonder if color will every come back into the landscape, and if warm weather was just a figment of our imagination. We don’t call them the “winter blues” for nothing.
All of these characteristics belong to the Water Element, of course, as Winter is the season associated with Water. But while that stillness lets in doubt and worry, it can also lead to its opposite: peace. As a testament to that stillness as peace and its connection to nature and the Water Element, I am sharing the following poem by Wendell Berry. I hope you store it away and remember it when you need to.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come in the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things” from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry.