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Winter: A Time to Bloom Indoors

The cold winter months are a good time to find inner creativity. Here are ten ways to plant the seeds.

“It is winter proper; the cold weather, such as it is, has come to stay.  I bloom indoors like a forced forsythia; I come in to come out.”

--Annie Dillard 

 

At this time of year, as the brutal weather of January and February wraps us in its chilling embrace, and darkness greets us in the morning and travels home with us after work, spring is a longed for guest whose arrival seems impossibly far away.

 

Yet, in times past, winter was as welcome a guest as spring, for it was a time to slow down, to ease up on the chores of plowing and planting, weeding and harvesting, hunting and gathering. In the midst of the struggle to stave off hunger and cold, winter was a time for gathering around the warmth of a fire and putting hands to work spinning and weaving, mending and sewing, and carving and making.  And while hands were busy, stories of community life were shared, along with the entertaining and enlightening stories of myth and fairy tale.  Creativity and imagination were given time and freedom.

 

Even now, when electric lights, computers, and television battle the darkness and the shorter days, somewhere deep inside, our minds, our bodies, our souls, respond to the urge to hibernate, to gather around the fire, to put our hands to some creative endeavor.  Like the seeds of winter wheat, in the dark soil of stillness and silence, the seeds of imagination and spirit are germinated and fed.  Winter is a time for us, as Annie Dillard says, to “come in to come out.”

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Paula Chaffee Scardamalia

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