Our winters here in Southern California aren’t like in the Midwest and East. We aren’t forced to stay inside, to slow down, to reflect on our day, our life. Most here don’t understand the term “snow-quiet.” I’m a Michigan transplant and I know snow. Not only the snow of weekend visits to the mountain resorts, but six-months-falling-it’s-spring-and-snow-is-still-on-the-ground snow. How, even as it falls heavy and heaven-laden, it steps lightly and treads gently upon the ground. Snow. It’s the blanket someone gingerly covers you with when you have fallen asleep willy-nilly in a chair; when you have slipped into a couch coma.
January, for me, is when I am naturally inclined to enter a snow-quiet state of mind. Figuring out what didn’t quite work out last year; at home, at work, and for me in general. Changing. Rearranging. Clearing. Sorting. Organizing. Even though I do these things on a smaller scale throughout the year, January finds me doing so in leaps and bounds. I say January because if it takes a village to raise a child it definitely takes a month for me to do all the above. It sets the pace for the year. For me.
Grace Gems posted this a while back, but somehow it fits here, today.
“‘There is a clock with which Providence keeps time and pace–and God Himself sets it!’
Our time is always now, for we are in selfish haste. But everything happens according to God’s divine time-table. Our sovereign God is never before His time–and never too late. We may well admire the punctuality of Heaven.
Our trials come in due season–and leave at the appointed moment. Our fretfulness will neither hasten nor delay the purposes of our sovereign God.
We are in hot haste to order all our affairs. But the Lord has the leisure of omnipotence and unerring wisdom–and it will be well for us to learn to wait. The clock will not strike until the hour; but when the instant comes, we shall hear the bell.
My soul, trust in God, and wait patiently when He says, ‘My time has not yet come–but your time is always here!’ John 7:6″
Here, my time is here. Now. Whatever I am doing it is the time, now, for me to be doing it.
It’s easy to forget that. It’s easy to fall into this world’s haste mode, to feel as if I am somehow behind in what I should be doing now, here. Sometimes I question whether I am stuck in the now; stuck in the here. When I am keeping house, I am not writing. When I am visiting, I am not writing. When I am at work, I am not writing. When I am reading, I am not writing. At least that is how it seems to family and friends. The truth is, I am. One must live in order for one to write. I have had long spells of not living because I felt the pressure to remain connected to the keyboard — but pressure doesn’t produce.
A writer must read. A writer must get “oot and aboot.” A writer must think and research and ponder and mind-wander. A writer doesn’t entertain company, a writer extends hospitality, and knows the difference between the two. A writer must not just write. A writer must do.
A writer is always in a state of active hibernation. Hibernation isn’t defined strictly by the calendar. Hibernation has been known to sometimes run long. Hibernation is a season unto itself and off the grid. Wintering in every season. January, most likely, the best month to begin; to recalculate.
Writers — artists — never look like they have it all together. They are in a continual snow-quiet state of mind — something waits beneath their bone structure.
Wintering. Waiting. Letting go. Letting God. January. His time, not mine.
A few of my creative colleagues who have been hunkered down and wintering have now, here, found their time syncing up with the universe. I invite you to visit the sites of Sarah Treanor whose work is featured in Artist Portfolio and Laly Mille who is featured with an article related to this blog post in the latest issue of Somerset Life.
Here’s to wintering.
Here’s to snow-quiet.
Here’s to Providence, dear reader — as you slowly, thoughtfully, plod along your path.