The Wisdom of Ice

During this season, when it is very cold outside, nature gives us the opportunity to allow aspects of ourselves to become inert.  In certain ways, it is useful to let our flow become suspended like that of the frozen stream.  By modeling the behavior of water that has turned into solid, still ice, we too can slow down, and in so doing, conserve our energy.

As humans, we strive against this seasonal conservation of energy.  We use outside energy sources such as lighting and heat that give us the ability to stay at a high activity level year-round.  Even during the shortened winter days, we are able to continue working late into the night because of the electricity that lights our offices and homes.  As the temperatures outside drop, we’re still able to travel and stay active because of cars, planes and other technologies.  These modern conveniences improve our lives in many ways, but in a sense, they are not natural and help us to fall increasingly out of touch with nature’s rhythms.

While I’m not suggesting that anyone do away with modern technology and shelter in the middle of winter, we should let ourselves accept and be affected by the cold in other ways.  This is the time to stay inside where it’s warm, suspend activity and conserve our energy.  It is not practical or healthy to become completely dormant, but how can we bring a sense of hibernation into the winter months?  Doing so is not only restorative, it’s an appropriate way to connect with the rhythms of nature.  Think ahead to how active nature becomes in the spring and how much energy we will need during those months.  By doing less now and not expending energy unnecessarily, we are able to conserve our energy for the next season when we will really need it.

Indeed, think about the global consequences if more of us followed this rhythm: by staying inside, going to bed earlier, using our cars less and “plugging into” technology for fewer hours out of the day during the winter months, not only would we conserve our own energy, we would contribute significantly to the conservation of the similarly limited energy resources of our planet!


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