necessary winter

it goes without saying that death is a necessary part of life. of living. winter is such a metaphorical death. everything must die to be born anew each spring. but we humans seem to endure the winter. for the most part.

some don't. i have lost half of my hospice patients in january alone. i hope i die in january. i was born in january. why would i not die then too? i think about death a lot. probably more than the average person. goes with the territory i guess. i am fascinated by it. by the patterns of how and when people die. by the patterns of how people around me are living too. how we are affected by the seasons and by death itself. parts of people must die, even relationships must die to make room. . . .

recently a friend told me that someone said to her, "you're trying to make it summer, but it's not." she was trying to tell my friend it is not the season for new love. it's not the season for much of anything. that is if productivity, outward growth, or "progress" are your only goals. but this winter i've learned from the people that i have helped die that life is so much more than all those external, materialistic, capitalistic, individualistic lies.

and for the first time, i'm happy for this winter. the necessary winter.

for us gardeners the winter can be a long, lonely process. but for those who seek solace in the winter, there is hope. here are some pictures of my dad's christmas tree. his "winter garden."

what do you grow in your winter garden?