As we shift into the time of Winter I am reminded of the myriad of lessons that accompany this season. On the medicine wheel that I am most familiar with, Winter is in white at the North of the wheel. This set of teachings belong to the wise ones who have lived a long life through which they have gained not just knowledge, but the wisdom to use it properly. For those of us not yet in this stage of our journey, this is the time when we look within and begin to take stock of the learning from previous seasons and previous years. This is also a time for story, when the spirits rest we may reminisce of lessons hard won and the laughter of friends long gone. There is an element of nature in each area of the medicine wheel and for the North, it is air. It is no coincidence that we find calm and inner wisdom by connecting to our own air through breath.
Elders teach us so many things, not only through deliberate gifts, but also in the way that they approach the world each day. Each of us walks a unique and specific path, but without guidance sometimes that path can be hard to see. We are encouraged to use this time of the year to take stock of the guidance available to us. While I don’t always have access to the old people, wisdom and guidance is not the sole property of the old. Our division has collected the most amazing people, all with their own unique gifts and many with the will and means to share. It may be a good time to look around you and see who is offering support in your space.
Reflection is the backbone of all learning and this season provides spectacular opportunities to engage. We support our students by holding space for reflection and synthesis, but often neglect to make the same efforts for ourselves. There is a natural stillness to the air during winter that can be easily reflected in our minds if we encourage it. I am a morning person, so my practice of late has been to find a moment to sit quietly each morning and let the day come slowly. While I sometimes struggle, each ounce of effort can be seen in my focus for the day.