A Circle Of Renewal

by Linda Wiggen Kraft

The cycle of renewal and growth is the pulse that sustains life on earth. It is the inward and outward expression of life. We experience it with each breath, breathing in and breathing out, with the rest and activity of night and day. The seasons also cycle through the resting time of winter, to spring awakening of growth, to the feast of fall harvest and again to the renewal of winter.

Renewal comes from the inward time, when the breath goes inside, when the quiet of night and the silence of winters reaches into the depths. The quiet of winter is the time of a garden’s renewal. The tree branches are naked, reaching upward like roots to the sky. They call to the heavens to shine down crystal clear forces that will gather underground, waiting to bring forth life in the spring.

A garden in winter is as important as a garden in full growth and bloom. Each season brings its beauty and essence to our lives. The resting and renewal time is needed to complete the cycle of a garden’s year. A winter garden now calls to us to find our rest, our own inner time, so that our life is complete.

We have cleared the garden of the things it no longer needs, but have left the essentials. Perhaps those are seeds on flower or grass stems, or berries on shrubs or trees. There is a beauty of simplicity in the winter garden, and a calling to sit in quiet. To connect with the essence of renewal that our gardens are now sharing and we ourselves can find within.
Listen to the garden’s call, a reminder to listen, to turn inward and find the inner quiet that guides in this pause before spring. Receive and share the quiet by gazing out at the gardens, or by putting on a warm coat and sitting outside surrounded by silhouettes of branches and stems. This inward listening is a time to gather wisdom and strength, just as the garden is gathering the same.

Here is a meditation that can be done while gazing out a window looking at the winter garden, or sitting in the garden on a chair, bench or on the ground.

  • Sit Comfortably, breathing in and out comfortably and deeply.
  • Close your eyes for a few minutes and feel your heart.
  • Let feelings of gratitude and love flow from your heart to the garden.
  • Open your eyes to gaze at the garden.
  • Look with your eyes and feel with your heart.
  • Spend a few minutes looking with love and giving thanks.
  • Ask that the energy of renewal that is coming to and from the garden fill your heart, body and soul.
  • Sit for a few moments or minutes feeling this exchange, feeling gratitude for all your garden gives.
  • Take a few deep breaths to end this quiet, listening time.

If it feels right, take a few minutes to journal about the experience. Repeat throughout the winter for something that will renew both garden and gardener.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer, mandala artist, photographer and meditation teacher. Her work can be seen on her website and blog: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com.