Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A heart of winter

Another gray day in mid-Ohio, our most common kind of winter day. Yesterday the dentist's assistant told me "This kind of weather gets me down." Gloomy is the word. There is a kind of winter day we like around here, fresh snow on the ground (but not too much), sun shining, blue sky, air crisp (but not too cold). Want, want.

I often think about this issue of our response to winter. Within us there is natural sunshine - this is actually a "true fact" as my English students used to say, who had not learned that a fact by nature is true. From a scientific point of view, we are made of nothing but the light from the sun. We have to get that light by eating plants that have captured it (and to some degree by sun bathing, which Gandhi firmly believed in).

Many of us believe that we have a nature that is golden and unspoiled, whether you think of it in Buddhist terms or Christian, or other religious belief structures. Ah, why can't I call forth that sunny nature on an overcast day?

Maybe I should not be trying to feel that particular lift of the heart. Maybe my intention should be to be here within winter, and not try to build a sunny mood when my neighborhood is overcast. Just be at peace with it. To see what it is like.

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