Those civilizations and peoples—whether they be Celtic, Native Americans, or ancient cultures of millennia past—who took their cues from nature have much to teach many segments of our world today. Take winter, for instance: trees lose their leaves, grasses die back, some animals hibernate, and other characteristic markers occur during this season in the Northern Hemisphere. The old life patterns and paradigms fall away or become dormant. Ancient Celts knew this and they celebrated winter solstice with this in mind, considering their own lives and allowing old attitudes, paradigms, and practices that no longer served them to slough off as they contemplated the burning of a purposeful and ceremonial fire. We need to eliminate those things from our life that do not contribute to our continuing evolution of creativity and those things that keep us from living the true vision and dreams of our hearts. At the very least, we need to put practices that hinder us from personal progress into a state of dormancy. I considered this last night as I wound my way through a labyrinth of evergreens and stopped before a fire pit at our local Missouri Botanical Garden, a magical place at this time of year.
Yes, we can learn from nature. As a literature teacher, I have always been most moved and attracted to the Romantic writers who knew such lessons well and whose writings were marked by patterns that they observed in nature—which led them to look to youth, the closest to a natural state humans are before losing sight of it, and it led them to question authority, the segment of society that quite often most perverted the patterns of nature (and I’m not talking about ecclesiastical or political interpretations of patterns of nature).
This solstice season, I hope for the sake of all of us that we can cast off the dead and hindering parts of our lives and grow in listening to our own hearts. Then, we just might get closer to personal fulfillment and significance, which just might eliminate a lot of the ugliness and discord being experienced throughout the world. There is a profound peace in allowing the elements of our lives that cause turmoil to simply fall away. Peace, followed by joy and hope of the new—that’s what this holiday season signifies.
My background prompts me to wish you a happy and blessed holiday season—a very Merry Christmas and prosperous, peaceful, and significant New Year!
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!