Winter In My Bones


“The leaves fall gently and like autumn she brings sadness. The leaves are left behind and winter’s in my bones.” ~ Cat Empire

These lyrics repeat in my mind, over and over. They are so on point for me this week. Winter remains stuck in my bones and somewhere there’s a way to cure this sadness but I cannot find it. No amount of rest or sleep or yoga or books or words or herbal tea or music will shift this relentless winter from my bones.

It’s not one thing that causes this dull ache of winter within me. It never is just one thing. It’s an accumulation of busyness, tiredness, stress, demand, pressure, obligation. It’s all things, everything, that leads to a sense of being overwhelmed, where both mind and body collapse, though I’m never sure which one perpetuates the other.

I just know winter is here and with her comes defeat, frustration, impatience, anger. There is lack of motivation and inspiration. There is no creativity. And so winter too brings grief. No words fall from me. Instead pages remain empty as the bitter gale cuts through my skin and seeps into my marrow that shrivels against its spite. Words are always my way back to life and without them there is no life, only a numb detachment that leaves my mind as blank as the page in front of me.

But it’s during these times of winter I must yield to the season and all she offers to teach me, if only I should be silent enough to hear. For if I allow it, winter also brings stillness, reflection and surrender. It brings quiescence. It brings dormancy.

And most importantly, it brings transformation.

For winter is a time when the deep work of the heart is done. And if I can learn to resist the fight and find a way to sit with her, she will do her work within me. She will bring change, renewal, life. In her time, not mine.

Winter is my preservation, and I no longer fight against it. Instead, I choose to surrender. For I know there is a work being done that I cannot see. And though I may not yet understand what that is, what I do understand is that spring always comes when the work is complete.


Photo credit: Robert Wnuk via 


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