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Embracing Winter

by Erin Rivers – Mission, KS
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While driving the other day, I was listening to a radio program where the speaker, a young woman, was talking about her experience with her husband being either deathly ill or in fact passing away and her dealing with a physical ailment that had subsequently been diagnosed as a chronic, life-long condition. She spoke of this being her “Winter” and went on to speak of how she learned to “embrace Winter” and the gifts that went along with that. Buddhism also teaches the value of embracing the pain, sadness, et cetera as a method of finding inner peace and contentment. Catholicism teaches the benefits of the pain and suffering in our lives as vehicles into a closer walk with God. Each of these perspectives remind us that pain is something we must embrace and that there is generally an increase of pain when we work hard to avoid, rather than move through.

I was thinking of these things while on my walk and after spending time in my daily Attunement practice. It occurred to me that Attunement is our warm muffler, our down coat, our comfy boots or blanket in the Winter of our existence.

And the Winter of our existence? For this young woman it was a very difficult time filled with despair and grief. For many of us, it is the pain of isolation and uncertainty as we move through the pandemic. Like many of us, I am beginning to walk into the Winter of my life as I become more firmly ensconced into my 60s.

And so, with Attunement, I am working to embrace my Winter. I am taking my cue from many of our Northern neighbors who eagerly look forward to the icy winds so that they can dive into the many snow sports and games. Those who look at 30 degrees as balmy and days when the temperature dips below zero as days that hold a bit of chill. They embrace Winter and live with enthusiasm each day, regardless of the temperature.

I am working to fill my daily Attunement time with an imagining of what it is to hold space for Spirit. I feel the exhaustion many people are holding as we await vaccines. I feel the fear as budgets are stretched beyond thin and times feel beyond sure. I feel the residual anger of those who both won and lost in the last election cycle. I feel the loneliness and isolation of those who are without a populated bubble – the elderly, the infirm, the unemployed, the ill.

Along with all of that, I do also feel the tendrils of hope that fill my soul, the Spring to our Winter. I see the kindness of strangers, the smiley eyes behind masks, and the excitement of possibility in the air. For me, Attunement is the warm wind that helps me embrace my Winter.

Let Love Radiate, without concern for results. Move through your various Winters, holding space for the loving surround of Attunement.


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2 thoughts on “Embracing Winter

  1. Thank you Erin for your thoughts,
    Over in England too we have been more or less in lockdown since November and it’s likely we won’t be released until about Easter. As you say there have been particular challenges to meet, indeed for all of us, but how fortunate I am to know of Attunement and to be able to practise it in these situations in the certainty there is vital meaning being shared that says ‘all is well.’
    We’ve had a lot of cold, damp days over here and as I’m quite thin my body feels it when I do the morning shop visit. But when I get home a warm mug of tea just heats up my body in the most heart-warming way. Spirit always seems to provide those little gifts so Its influence can be shared!

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