Mid-Month Meditation: “In the Darkness of Winter” by Jennifer S. Getsinger

We encourage our readers to use these Mid-Month Meditations as an opportunity to take a short break from everything else. Rather than treating these posts the way you would any other post, set aside 10 minutes someplace quiet and semi-private to have an experience. Take a minute to relax first. After reading the quote below, take a few minutes to let the experience sink in. If it feels right, leave a comment.

In the darkness of winter the rains come.
Earth draws her mantle of darkness and moisture nearer,
pulls her grey blanket of clouds closer around her mountain
shoulders.
On icy heights the mountains become the storehouses of the snow.
On forested slopes and in lowland rainforests, evergreens soak in the
nurturing water,
and draw it into the soil.
Groundwater seeps into networks of cracks in Coast Range granite,
as rocks become the storehouses of the rain.
In darkness, and under[the]ground[of Vancouver],
the Earth draws in rainwater down along beds of porous sandstone
to wash the fossil leaves of ancient rainforests,
to cleanse the black layers of underlying coal,
waiting in the sleep of millions of years
while holding potential warmth and light for a future age.
In the darkness of winter as sunfire wanes and life forms sleep,
the cycles of earth, air, and water blur and mingle:
our drinking water may be muddy with mineral silt;
the solid ground seems to melt into rivers beneath our feet;
and the air we breathe is an ocean of dampness.
In the darkness of winter, we too need to rest and sleep,
and draw in the groundwater now
that will later nourish the springs of our souls.

This poem was published earlier on the website for the Canadian Unitarian Council.

The Author

Jennifer Getsinger has been a member of UCV since 1984, and was married there in 1985. She was raised as a Unitarian, attending various US UU churches, including 7 years at the First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts. Living about a kilometre from Walden Pond, Jennifer was influenced from an early age by the Transcendentalists, including Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, thus beginning an interest in earth-based spirituality and panentheism. Her professional/educational background includes anthropology and earth sciences, and nature writing is one of her passions (essays and poetry). Jennifer has 2 children, Wolf and Chilko, who also attend the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.

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