Although winter does not officially start for another few days here in the North Eastern United States, it's certainly made its impending opening. I thought the best way to experience this season's first snowstorm was up close and personal - so into the forest I went. My woodstove warmed canvas tent provided a nice warm pocket tucked in amongst the pines and cedars. I sat and watched the snow fall as I listened to it patter on the roof.
Watching nature change from one appearance to another is an instructive experience. Official start dates mean very little to the natural world. Seasons flow from one to the other at their own pace and that pace is not exactly dictated by what the calendar shows.
Seeing the brown of the forest floor and the green of the tall pines slowly change to undisturbed white reminded me that nature manifests itself in such an authentic way. A snowflake does not compare itself to other snowflakes and think it is less beautiful. When the trees are whispering to each other all are included in the conversation. Stones sit with regal certainty in their place. Streams wander the landscape following where their hearts lead. Seasons shift from one to another organically and gracefully in their own time.
Nature is a most amazing teacher regardless of whether you are looking at it from your head in a scientific way or from your heart, experientially. Nature teaches all who come to it in a way that accommodates who we are while reminding us that we are not separate from it. We are nature. We just forget. In that forgetting we lose touch with our own beauty, authenticity, inclusion, and grace. Just as importantly, we lose touch with these qualities in others as well.
As the Full Cold Moon/Moon Before Yule/Long Nights Moon appeared last week on December 12th - pairing with the Geminid meteor showers, I encourage us all to take time to reflect on the meaning that arises for each of us. In essence, these events herald a time for communication; between our own logical mind and the bigger, broader picture. It is a time of culmination; of building better relationships with ourselves, others, and the Natural world.
During this time of the Maya Calendar we have moved from the Trecena (thirteen-day Maya weeks) of E'e to Kan. It's been a time of giving thanks for all that the Road/Path of life gives to us and in being networked with all that's within and all around us.
As we engage with nature's flow and move fully this season, along with the excitement and stress of the holidays, let us all remember: We are singular and plural at the same time. We are all in this together as one. Let us remember our diversity and uniqueness. Our strength and our frailty. Our authenticity and grace.
Please remember to take some time to venture outside. Wherever you live, whatever climate you are in. Feel the cold or warm on your skin and the snow, rain or sun on your face. Gather around a roaring fire in the wild, or sit by a fireplace, or even a candle. Listen, as the harsh winds or soft breezes caress the trees, which exchange their secrets for you to hear. Watch as this new season takes its hold of the landscape, lovingly.
As the seasons shift, and as you shift with them, take some time to explore what OMEC and Shamanic Reiki Worldwide have to offer. Programs, books, and projects are waiting for you to engage, enjoy, and transform through.
OMEC has accomplished so much this year - sponsoring a US visit of Maya Women Weavers, funding the Spanish publication on ancient Maya wisdom for a community in Guatemala, initiating the Pillar Point project on the Olympic Peninsula in partnership with CoastSavers.org, publishing a Siberian Myths and Legends book by the Shor people, initiating production of a Johnny Moses storytelling book - and so much more!
We have accomplished so much because of you, our community. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your interest and, importantly, for your financial support!
May whatever holidays you honor bring you peace, healing, and wholeness.
From my heart to yours,
Christopher T. Franza / Board of Directors, OMEC