Slouching Toward Mid-Winter

In cold and darkness you are traveling,

In warmth and brightness you will arrive.

Caitlín Matthews1

Photo credit:

In a week and a half, on February 2nd, winter will be exactly half over, and not a moment too soon!  Millions of people in the U.S. mid-Atlantic and beyond are currently snowlocked into their homes while public works employees and emergency responders work diligently to restore order and ensure safety.  Our thanks to all of them for their devotion to humanity!  Even those of us not contending with towering drifts of snow and ocean flooding are shut in because of bitter cold and, ironically, not enough snow to foster the sports that become our deliverance.

The front half of winter was, for me, not unlike the proverbial holiday fruitcake.  It landed on my threshold with a thud on December 21, was colorful with some sweetness, and some bites were a little too tough to swallow.  The real trick is dislodging the remnants without my very teeth, but maybe it’s time to rethink that.  Metaphysical aficionados everywhere know that tooth problems portend an inability to analyze our own deeply held beliefs so that we can move forward constructively.2  While it’s easy to sink into ennui and think this dilemma is all my own, consider that also on February 2nd, the entire nation will look to celebrity groundhog Punxsutawney Phil to advise if, based upon whether or not he sees his shadow, we will endure six more weeks of winter.  It will be a feature story on the evening news and headline local internet/print media.

Groundhog Punxsutawney
Photo credit:

Of course we will persevere, and the beloved marmot wrested from the sanctity of his burrow to augur the omen of spring will, like the rest of us, retreat to his den to await the thaw as nature intended.  Winter is deep and dark, forcing us out of the external and obvious, and into the constructs we have created for ourselves.  It is a time for introspection, and because self-examination is hard to do, the Universe helps us by holding our heads below the surface until we stop struggling against the current.  Thanks, Universe!

Groundhog Thanks, Universe!
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Hopefully we breach the surface of spring with more insight, the way forward clearer and less treacherous than it appears from our frosted windowpanes.  The vernal equinox arrives the moment the lightness of day is almost completely equal to the darkness of night, a near-perfect balance that occurs only twice during the course of the year.  Possibly then, in kind, we can contemplate our lives in isolation and in the greater context of the world without over-thinking it or skirting issues, and find equilibrium if only for a few minutes.  Even that is a lofty goal, but hey, we have seven and a half weeks to get there.  Enjoy the journey from the incandescent warmth of your burrow!


1Matthews, Caitlin.  “Imbolc.”  A Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers and Blessings.  Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds, 2004.  p.46.  Print.

2Hay, Louise L. Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them.  Santa Monica, CA: Hay House, 1984.  Print.

One thought on “Slouching Toward Mid-Winter

  1. I can appreciate this post, coming after the ‘Blizzard of 2016’! Yes, we truly are forced to look within when faced with such a force of nature. Bring on the daffodils….whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow!


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