January 1, 2023
As I sat in meditation this morning, I was captivated by the buds forming on the tree outside my window. They have been there for months, but somehow, I hadn’t really noticed them. I love the tree outside my yoga room window. It is a deciduous magnolia that some call a tulip magnolia for the shape of its pink and white blossoms in early Spring. The tree has been a prominent feature in my front yard since I bought the house. It has endured gaggles of children climbing its branches, being wrapped in Christmas lights for many a season and serious pruning by tropical storms. There have been years where the blossoms were early and dramatic. Other years they have been late due to snowy or chilly extended winters. A few times the blossoms peaked just before a heavy frost, were burned, and then fell in brown clumps much to my dismay. Always, my tree has brought welcome shade in the summer and splendid color in the autumn.
Winter is not a dramatic season for the tree. It is rather subdued in the cold dark months with all of its skeletal branches reaching toward the sky. A squirrel built its nest in the branches this Fall, so I regularly see him scampering by with nuts or seeds on his way home. On sunny mornings like today, I can hear the birds serenading the neighborhood as I stretch and waken my body. If I take time to notice, there is always lots of life in my tree. Right now, it is mostly gathering energy for the future.
Perhaps this year more than others I am aware that Winter is a needed season for rest and storing energy for the upcoming year. The plants and trees go dormant, and the animals spend more time hidden in their nests and dens. I too, crave more time snuggled under blankets or by the fire. I want more sleep and less activity in the evenings. A warm cup of herbal tea and a book in my hand is my solace. Like my magnolia, I can feel my body storing energy for future blossoms.
As we start the new year, I am full of thoughts about the future and getting ready for new growth. I never know what is ahead, but I am certain that listening to my body and nourishing it with extra rest and healthy movement will leave me ready for the more active times ahead. It feels time for some internal work to gather energy for 2023.