January Stillness

“Practice inaction, occupy yourself with doing nothing.” (Lau-Tzo)

The brilliant sun of a cold January morning catches my breath with anticipation.  Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of the warm rays with the cold air.  Perhaps it is the barren trees that appear bleak in the moment even as they speak to yesterday and tomorrow.  Perhaps it is the eery calm whilst the animals are tucked away for their winter slumber.  There is a melancholy to this brilliant day but one that is met and carried by the hope of new life promised in the warmth of the sun.

This jumble of feelings that rollicks in the air is fitting this morning.  As I move between projects I feel them all pounding within.  The now familiar pain of loss is a steady thread, but it is held in tension with threads of possibility taking shape and form.  The sustenance of gratitude is palpable as I sip coffee in the morning quiet with lover-cat sitting on my desk, pawing gently.

The expectation to achieve nips persistently and I scan a couple of websites to check for new postings for which I might apply.  I feel a sense of urgency to be productive in rhythm with the brilliance of the sun, but feel a dissonance between the smile that the light engenders and the lethargy that bears tandem witness to the bitter cold.  I am reminded that this is the season of hibernation.  Lifting my face to the sun is essential, but all other body parts should be covered and conserve energy in this season of deep growth.

To be sure there is movement deep in my soul that parallels that in the earth itself.  But I need not pick or prod, and in fact such impatience might be destructive.  This is a day to say “thank you”, to practice walking and talking gently with myself and others, to sit in the window with a smile on my face and drink in the beauty that is present.

When the warmth returns in springtime the sun’s rays will spur us to action, but in this season of shadows the sun’s glare is witness simply to behold.