Coming Through

The passage through midwinter is difficult: meeting our fears and our dark angels, entering the realm of the winter crone. Most of us go through times of struggle, and the ‘dark night of the soul’ is a resonant phrase for us, as we face the waning of the light, from November onwards, and this often happens very much in our private inner space.But the other side of the coin is the turning to our centre, going in to our own underground, where, in parallel with the Earth, we discover and nurture the seeds of the new. If we can do this, encounter wakefully our own underworld, accepting and trusting in the process, we may come to an understanding, a real experience of our own essential ‘I’ness, separate from our participation in the affairs of the world around us. The dark angels, the realm of the dark mother, then become the mediators of our own growth, the rich and fertile soil for a new germination. Winter is deeply about seed time.

January is named after Janus, the god of gateways, who faces both ways. At the gateway of the new year, in our European calendar, we look back over past struggles. Strengthened, however, by our willing descent into midwinter, we can also feel the stirring of hope and of huge unrealised potential growing towards us out of the future, (think of Aung San Suu Kyi emerging from her years’ long house arrest), like fresh green shoots rising out of the living Earth in spring. There is a new freedom to sing the song of the ‘one who has come through’, to sing the unique song of our true self.

The Gift of Winter
Here the land is open and the stream is singing free,
But where are willow, alder oak, as it dances to the sea,
That hold the banks and cool the earth, allowing springs to rise,
Springs that ripen in the dark to well up through the ground?

Here the land is open and the roads go seething by,
But where is all the boggy land the soaks the floods away?
Here stand high fields of winter wheat, where once the earth lay resting.
Now the rain pours down and tumbles through the little houses in the vale.

We have clothed the earth in surface, shutting off what lies below,
Where the life withdraws in winter that in spring will rise anew.
Midwinter calls ‘Oh come inside, wake up and meet the challenge!’
The gift of winter is the chance to find a way into the ground.

The ploughman in his furrow knows the smell of earth is sweet.
The walker on the mountain feels the life beneath her feet,
The ground beneath is the ground inside, where the light unborn is stirring:
The seed that ripens in the heart for the new song of the earth.

Come one and all who battle on through wind and rain and cloud,
As we raise our voices in one song and carol it aloud:
The ground beneath is the ground inside, where the light unborn is stirring:
The seed that ripens in the heart for the new song of the earth.
Snow

Look:
there are white petals
falling from the sky, as if,
in the fields of heaven,
a wind had stripped
the blossoms of their glory
and here they spin,
frozen into crystal filigree,
down, down and down
into our cold and anxious world.

There are white petals falling,
blanketing the ground in
a strange and luminous silence,
rounding out all the edges,
angles of bitterness
and apathy,
blunting the serried spikes of cynicism
under layer upon layer
of beauty.

Oh look:
there are while petals falling
and our mouths open
in wonder.
For a moment we see differently.
For a moment
we see.
Levels
Wherever you are in your life
there is another level of story happening
touch of bees wing
drift of white feathers
the fluttering leaf
nothing is as it seems…
the laughter in a baby’s eyes
elf wisdom… out of deep time
In the glancing radiance between now
and now
you wake to the true size of you
light streaming from your palms
the power of love
to alter
everything

©2011 Jehanne Mehta