"Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance"
I am meditating on the coming of winter.
I love the fall and I love the spring. One represents a metamorphosis from intense growth to introspective abundance, and the other a change from the stripped down to the blossoming. But now I am learning to appreciate the quietness of death as it moves from blazing flamboyance to raw nakedness, to bare chilled bones of essence borne from the garish, passing garb of performance. I walk down the trail by the Platte River between the place I currently call home and the place I currently call work, and I marvel at the nude branches twisting upward, revealing themselves to the world as barren and unprotected as the small shoots they once were, pushing their way up through native, beloved soil. These behemoth trees now line the river and guard the path, sentinels before the encroaching box apartment complexes and westward expanding malls. They keep clandestine and sacred what greed would label as profitable or fit for bulldozing. And they are naked, stark against the ever-sunny Colorado sky.
I am meditating on shedding and stripping, on being exposed.
Winter reminds me that after seasons of deep reflection and self-examination we come to a point where we cling either to our vestigial or poisonous habits/ways/thoughts/reactions/beliefs, or we shake our boughs and dislodge the things sucking nutrients from our core, letting them fall to the ground to make the soil richer so that we may grow into giants. Some may see the winter as a time of blatant, unrepentant death, and it is. Only through death and the pruning and killing of things, though, can we crack through the cold frozen earth to establish roots, to render ourselves not unbendable or unbreakable, but immortal and sustainable. I destroy the things that are destroying me, and the winter covers me with hardness and sheen, and I rest and wait raw and alert. I am bare and exposed, but as frigid winds whistle and blow across my goose-fleshed skin I am readying myself for unrelenting growth. I have stripped and been stripped, and now I wait and watch and listen and know.
I am meditating on nakedness and performance.
I am myself both clothed and exposed. How could I ever not be who I am? I am myself whether bearing fruit or leaves, or baring bare branches to the atmosphere, to the breeze. I have mourned the excruciation of shedding and losing the things I so fondly held close to me, the things connected to my limbs and being. Now I am peeled back, standing nude before the coming snows and I know to suck the cold into my lungs and feel deeply, intentionally the burn from a lack of sun. I have prepared myself for enigma and await its advent. I have hardened myself before the storm and my nakedness is a chrysalis as I await to be reborn. But for now, I am chilled, wandering the grey area where terror and excitement merge into anticipation and bated breath.
I am meditating on the painful, unflattering, agonizing nature of transformation.