Busy Season, Quiet Heart

 PHOTO BY AFRICA STUDIO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

PHOTO BY AFRICA STUDIO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

There are so many beautiful traditions and holidays (holy days!) that we celebrate in winter, and I love the music, sparkle, and extra enthusiasm of them all.  It’s a wonderful thing to party with your peeps, decorate your world, and unwrap surprises.

There’s a flip side though, isn’t there?  One party becomes 3 or 4, one shopping trip or extra activity becomes another--and another.  There’s an enchanted hush that falls over the natural world in winter, but we have to be still to feel it.  We have to stop.  We have to breathe, and notice.  It can be tricky to balance the excitement with the peace when it seems like everyone around us wants to go, go, go.  If you’re young, it might be more than tricky--if adults have final say over your schedule, it might be almost impossible.

But you can always find a moment.

Magic doesn’t have to be expensive or epic.  Winter magic is in tiny, silent, snowflake moments--and all we have to do is notice it.

It’s actually very, very natural to crave coziness and a slower pace this time of year. Appreciating our gifts and blessings, the loveliness of pine trees and snow, the hopeful feeling of lighting up a dark night can be plenty of holiday “doing.” If you love the gentler side of celebrating, you are not alone.  Not at all.

Even our modern, festive “go, go, going” has roots in simple observing and connecting to nature. Seasonal foods, plants and trees, glowing light, loving gatherings, gifts and offerings are the peaceful basics that so many of our traditions are built on.

And of course, our shared belief in miracles and magic.

So remember to think in moments this season.  A moment to rest. To wander. To be quiet. To look for the brightest star. To smell a sharp, sweet spruce tree.  To watch a wavering candle flame.  Listen to your heart and make up a quiet tradition of your own.  You can always find the stillness.  And then the winter magic will find you.