More important is the idea of isolation versus connection. We humans are social creatures. We thrive on connections, giving and receiving love. I know that I am emotionally healthy when I am connected, and I am less emotionally healthy when I isolate. Ideally these opportunities for connection with others occur organically in the course of my daily routine, but I often need to have discipline to make it happen. For me that means reaching out to loved ones (often by text message), as well as scheduling time for social groups and support groups that I’m part of. And all of it feels harder when it’s cold and snowy outside.
I’ve heard a saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. I’ve seen pictures of a preschool where the kids go outside and play in any weather whatsoever—if they are muddy after playing in the rain in their head-to-toe rain gear, a hose rinses them off when they come inside. In the same vein, one of my minister friends in Lansing gave advice to those of us who are new to Michigan: dress in layers.
Everyone is a little bit taken aback by the severity of this early-season cold, but we are resilient people. We can handle this. My wish for you, for me, and for all of us is to stay warm and stay connected.
Sprit of Life and Love, be with me now in this season of cold. Be with me in the beauty of the snow swirling outside my window. Be with me in the bright sharp feeling of the air outside and in the warmth within my body that keeps me alive.
Divine spirit, be with me in calm moments of solitude, present as the still small voice within. Be with me in moments of connection with others: God-between-us that is present when we recognize the divine in one another. And be with me in the mystery beyond: in the full moon rising, in the beauty of the bare tree branches against the cloudy sky.
Blessed be. Aho. Amen.