Winter is a new day.
It’s a new winter; it’s a new day. Both the beauty and the sorrow of the universe is found in the ebb and flow of seasons, cycles, and time. The seasons change and we lose and we gain. One life ends and another begins. We grow older losing youth and innocence and gaining wisdom and strength. Earth’s seasons remind us the we live in “necessary undulations” (C.S. Lewis, 1942). These undulations take us to unexpected lows and incredible highs. There is a cyclical pattern of coming and goings in our lives that follows a pattern that we cannot see but should be cognizant of. It is like fall turning to winter, hardship travels to quiet, something lulling us to sleep.
In the stillness of the cold with bitter brittle bones we sit waiting. A hush covers us and tells us to stay. In our winter state little activity happens and we hibernate. During this valley we shouldn’t look for answers or understanding. We shouldn’t move to new states. We should sit-- sink into the lull, hunker down the hatches, and crank up the wood stove.
Animals throughout time have learned this technique. In winter hibernation or torpor, a state of mental or physical lethargy, animals don’t migrate, work hard, or search for food. Instead, they wrap up, slow down, and wait. They feel the cave or chamber formed around them and wrap themselves in its fullness. They soak up the experiences of spring, summer, and fall, and think. We tend to view this behavior in them and think it is reasonable and essential. And then we consider our own paths and our own lives and question our lethargy. An animal's stillness does not mean they are done, empty, or washed up. Instead, it means that good things are coming. That life will spring forth again.
But let’s not think about that now. Let’s sit and ruminate. Be still. It’s winter. It’s a new day.
C.S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letters, HarperSanFrancisco, ©1942, Harper edition 2001, pp. 37-38.