One of the things that Marty and those who affirm the spirituality of winter understand is that "even the cry from the depths is an affirmation: Why cry if there is no hint of hope of hearing?" Rumi writes of the dog that wails for her master noting that the absence and howling is proof of a love beyond what is obvious. Winter spirituality, as I have come to experience it again after a decade in the desert Southwest, is more about stillness, solitude and solidarity than anything else.
In their Practicing Spirituality website (http://www.spirituality andpractice.com/practices/features/view/20552/practicing-spirituality-in-winter) Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat offer a host of other practices that help nourish the wisdom of winter. They write that a winter spirituality calls us to celebrate our interdependence on one another.
The last time Dianne and I were in Ottawa, we found ourselves trapped in a mud rut during the freezing rain. Try as we might, we could not rock the car out of the muck. In about 15 minutes, however, two young men came from different directions, realized our plight, uncovered their rock salt and helped us push the vehicle into freedom. We needed them - and rejoiced in their generosity. As tired as I am this year of the snow - and there's more to come next week or so I'm told - I give thanks this day for the wisdom of winter. It is an existential encounter with the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.