Winter Reflections

If winter was without snow, I would not have learned to love winter. But, I grew up with snow-filled winters and the great anticipation of cross-country skiing at the local golf course, snow angels, sledding, and hot chocolate and a fire to warm up to.

Last year, we had no more than a scattering of snow and my body was confused and my mind depressed. Friends were worried that we would not survive the cold in our newly errected “humble hut”, but, in truth, the snowless landscape was more troublesome to me than the couple of cold days that kept me in bed longer than usual.

So, my body was at peace when it started snowing yesterday. The flakes were so diverse. Stars, stripes, and pellets covered the ground in layer after layer, until everything shimmered in white. The chickens and goats hid from the weather, while piglet crafted a shelter and the ducks sat outside as if nothing were different. The three of us continued working on the roof, bundled in layers of clothes.

Although work still invites us outside, winter is a time for rest, reflection, and relaxation. The sun sets early and the quite evening hours are long. The contrast to the endless days of summer is refreshing.

I am reading about the cycles of nature in the book “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Christiane Northrup, MD. She points out how a woman’s cycle parallels the cycle of the seasons. The time between ovulation and menstruation is a women’s winter. Northrup suggests that this is a time for reflection and relaxation. It is a time to listen to intuition and prepare “to develop or give birth to something that comes from deep within ourselves.”

At Factor E Farm, we are preparing to give birth to open source technologies for localization. We are preparing for a vibrant community. We are learning to steward land and we are readying ourselves for a new season.

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