Winter Seeing

March 15, 2033

And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God saw that it was good.  ~ Genesis 1:14, 17b NRSV~ Genesis 1:14, 17b ~ NRSV

Yesterday I had a chance to spend a day on retreat with a Community of Practice at Dayspring Retreat Center, outside of Germantown, MD. Last July I spent two days there on a planning retreat. I spent many hours over those two days exploring the grounds, discovering everything from a lake, a labyrinth, lily pads, an apiary, an outdoor chapel, trees full of butterflies and lovely trails leading through fields and forest. I thought at the time that it would be fun to be there in the winter, without humidity, mosquitoes, or ticks.

I got my wish. We had 45 minutes of time set aside for silent reflection outdoors. It was cold, with strong winds and heavy gusts. But the sun was shining, and I wandered the grounds and noticed things I missed last summer, like a lovely meandering stream that fed a small pond. Without the high grass and the abundant foliage of trees in the summer, the season of winter was revealed, beautiful in its own stripped-down way. The outdoors seemed to be in Lenten mode, letting go of all the growth and busyness of other seasons, opening a space for bare branches, dormant grasses, silky remnants of milkweed pods and gusts of wind.

I notice things in this season of my life that I didn’t pay much attention to in earlier years, perhaps because I, too, am letting go of some of the busyness of other seasons, opening space to ponder, reflect, pray, dream, and mostly savor some of the precious moments.

Below are two photos I took, at the same place, facing the same direction, one last summer, and one yesterday. Enjoy savoring both. Notice what calls to you. You might even notice what God may be showing you in this season of your life.

With blessings ~ Anne

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