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A New Life I Must Call My Own

As you know, I say unkind things about winter every now and then. But cut me some slack, winter-lovers! I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and I’ve earned my stripes when it comes to ice and snow and zero temps!

Truth be told, there are certain features of this season that I, too, love. For example, on the introverted/extroverted scale, I’m right in the middle. Winter is good for my introverted side.

As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, I find myself going inward in ways that nourish my soul. It’s a spiritual version of hibernation, I suppose.

That’s why I love this poem by David Whyte. It takes me on an inner journey, touching on things I need to remember and truths I need to embrace.

At the moment, this line speaks to me: “what disturbs and then nourishes has everything we need.” If you’re in a mood to sit by this virtual fire for a while in solitude and silence, maybe this poem has a gift for you.

The Winter of Listening
by David Whyte

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

(Excerpted from River Flow: New and Selected Poems. Read the full poem here.

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