Spring after Winter

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson

Unseasonably warm weather may have kept us outdoors a while longer this year. Though the leaves have now fallen from their branches, the trees having stored their reserves. Bushy-tailed squirrels and fat-cheeked chipmunks have collected food for their families. The time of ingathering, of harvest, is just about over even in the forests.

Mid-to-late November is a time we begin to look back on our year, take stock of our lives. We, humans, have our own customs, like harvest and county fairs, and, of course, Thanksgiving. It is not yet winter, so we gather one last time before the cold sets in soon.

For me, Thanksgiving time allows me to give thanks for the beauty of the earth. My autumnal walks provide me the opportunity to pause and reflect on all that I enjoy about our blessed planet. To remember the wild fiddlehead ferns lining the trail this past spring, the mountaintop vistas from this summer, and the pop of the fall foliage.

Even as winter knocks, Rachel Carson reminds me that “dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” The wheel of the year turns. As it does may we all be thankful for and reminded of the reserves of strength we find in the natural world which may sustain us through our personal winters.

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