If winter comes, can spring be far behind?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind.

The artist feels beauty and depicts it as best he can, and the result of his effort is what we call the beautiful.

-The Science of Mind, page 72

Winter Trees

I painted some stark winter trees soon after my husband died. Up until then, I had always seen winter, like times of great personal pain, as a season merely to be endured. That year, I learned to appreciate the beauty of a bare winter tree against a sunset sky. I suddenly saw an exposed tree skeleton is as lovely in its own special way as a spring tree in its first bud, or a summer one in full leaf, or a fall tree in radiant color.

Now I see winter as a time of rest, a time of fallow. Dark comes early and the nights are long. I cuddle up and tend to the home fires. I have more time to think about my priorities in life. What is really important? In the end, only expanding love.

Our personal winters, our dark nights of the soul, are, like the earth's winters, times when it looks like all is dark and dead. But in fact, for me, those times have proved to be a time of rest and renewal before the periods of greatest growth, and growing lightness of being. Winter is a perfect time to learn that God moves in and through and as all things. Spirit is just as present in experiences that arrive looking stark as in ones that appear lovely to us at first. We can learn to see beauty more clearly everywhere, becoming the true artists of our lives.

I feel the beautiful life of God moving in and through me, restoring, revitalizing and refreshing me. This is not the end, but truly an awesome new beginning. Like winter into spring, this experience is a powerful opportunity for new growth, new life, more love, and more joy.

Connee Chandler, RScP


Published in SOM Magazine Dec. 20, 2000, page 68

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