These months are a time to remember those who have gone before us and to remember our own past. This is also a time to let go of what has been and is being taken from us.

As we enter again into the darkness and barrenness of winter, we gather together the whole year, twelve months of joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, loves and dreams. We embrace our garden which has been made more authentic, more beautiful, more creative through the year, and give thanks for it.

In January and February the garden grows in silence, the growth hidden from the gardeners view. There is hardly any colour, other than the browns and greys of soil and stone; there are no scents or sounds, no signs of life. But the gardener knows that there is plenty of invisible activity in the garden. Down under the soil, where the earth is warm even when frosts harden the ground, the roots are already preparing for spring, life is stirring in the depths. The gardener knows that in spite of the barren aspect of the garden, the spring bulbs are preparing to make their adventure to the world of light.

For the gardener, this is a time for planning and looking forward, for dreaming of possibilities and planning the summer garden. The gardener paces the garden in silence and in solitude, seeing what is not yet grown, dreaming of how the garden will look in the coming months, deciding what to put where, thinking about the seeds and the bulbs and their underground activity. This is a time for patience and taking stock.

January and February call us to get in touch with the stillness of our own inner garden, to be patient with ourselves, to appreciate our inner strength and to embrace the seeds of beauty within us. In these months we learn to recognise the busyness of our daily lives, where silence may be a stranger.


© 2023 Sister Stanislaus Kennedy
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