12/18/07

A Yule Meditation

Oak Moon
Phase: Waxing Crescent (in the sign Pisces, 8 days old)
Weather: Seasonably cold, high thin clouds and occasional lake effect flurries
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This is reposted from another blog of mine, it was originally posted yesterday, hence the above notation reflects this.
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Soon, it will be Yule. Some people think of this season as a depressing time of year and others think of it as a joyous one because of all the boisterous holiday celebrations that surround us. Having been raised on a farm, I found that the winter was a time of rest and preparation. We took time to make plans for the spring planting and to relax with family.

The rush and effort of the harvest behind us, we had some time to enjoy the fruits of our labors and to engage in more indoor persuits. My father spent a good amount of the time, when I was a girl, doing things like making models with my brothers and I. He worked at the food processing factory across the county, but when he was needed on the farm his work day didn't end until late at night. In the winter, however, he didn't need to trouble himself with worry if a tractor needed some repairs or if the hay baler needed more wire.

Then, we spent time doing things like stargazing in the icy cold nights and having snowball fights on saturday afternoons. Intermixed with the happy memories of my early childhood, I have more sorrowful ones. Such as the last christmas with my great-grandmother Hazel, whom I adored, and how she didn't recognize me. Or the winter that I was repeatedly abused by a boyfriend I had in highschool, to the extent where I found myself in fear for my life on a semi-regular basis.

Here, as I find myself on the threshold of midwinter, I can not help but feel thankful for all of those experiences that have lead up to where I am today. Some will burn in my memory as bright flames of joy, like the rush of excitement I felt when I saw Halley's Comet thru my grandfather's old telescope one December night many years ago, and others will be pangs of sorrow, like the memory of that batch of butterscotch great-grandma Hazel and I shared after my 3rd grade christmas concert.

Winter is a time for us to slow down, to turn inward and take stock of where we are and where we'd like to be. Just as we may plan out the flowerbeds or the vegetable patch for next spring's planting, we can plan out where we want to be come next winter. And in all of it, remember, it is good. We've all worked hard to be where we are, even if it didn't feel like it. And we are all wonderful people, so that work has borne good fruit.

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