The old slip of moon rose this morning, the Valley Oaks backlit by the beginnings of Dawn. It is the end of 2013, the darkest time of the year.

I admit: I love the dark, a time that it is easier to live inward. The plants are quiet, and there are fewer demands on my husband and me. We are in drought, it having rained only twice so far this rainy season. When I worry I so easily miss the beauty of the clear, cold dawn.


So seldom do we see brown fallowness here in the Napa Valley, but this year the vines have lost all their leaves and the grass has barely thought of sprouting. Still, there is beauty in the neutrals of the vineyards as well as in the flame of red in the tops of the Valley Oaks as the sun tips over the eastern range. The cold, dry air of a morning walk is invigorating!

Fire of sun in boughs of Valley Oak at Dawn.

I wonder about this worry, as if I have control over the rains! I am told the best way to access the energies that grow things, the energies of the earth, is through gratitude. Our hearts open then, and we listen. Time and again this has proven true. Worry doesn’t fit in here, in my book, anyway.

There are reports of floods and ice storms and fire, all part of what we are all beginning to acknowledge as climate change. Extreme weather is like the dark night of the soul for Earth and for us. In analytic psychological work, the dark night signifies a period of moving into oneself, listening another way to what needs a voice. Only then can something new sprout. 

When you stop and feel the beauty, when you hear the Earth, the trees, the animals, what do they tell you? Are there changes you will make in your relationship with these Other in 2014?

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