The Winter Harmony blog series is our gift to our beautiful community to help inspire and support you to live in harmony with winter. Join us and some amazing guest bloggers M-F during the month of January. Click here to see all the Winter Harmony posts in one place.
Get your own Winter Harmony Mandala to bring a little peace and joy to your winter season this year and see what message it has for you.
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First let me say that I LOVE the four seasons.
Really Love Them.
I am always grateful that where we live here on the east coast on
Cape Cod in Massachusetts allows us to experience each of them in all their splendor.
But, this year... and this winter... in particular...have been a bit difficult
for me and my beloved husband for health reasons that have
taken much of our focus and energies.
Without going into detail I will say that he has needed me more than ever...
...my heart, my love, my care, my strength, my energy
for a health journey that he has been on for the past few years
that has challenged us more in the past few months than any other time
in the almost twenty years that we have been together.
When Michelle and Jill Marie asked if I would write something for
the Winter Harmony series a couple of months ago, I was hesitant
the Winter Harmony series a couple of months ago, I was hesitant
to give them an answer...and they were gracious enough to give
me the gift of love, understanding and time.
I am grateful for that gift and now that I have had a chance
to catch my breath and center...I am here...
to share a few of the things that are helping to bring harmony
to my winter days this year...perhaps they will help you as well.
As always, it is nature that calls to my spirit...
And, although I would often prefer to stay indoors and snuggle in,
enjoying the cozy warmth of our home,
(I will be honest and say that the warmth of our bed in our
darkened bedroom each morning in winter
is especially difficult for me to pry myself from)
Yet, I am drawn to bundle up, layer sweaters, scarves, gloves and boots
and go outside... to breathe in the pure cold air and feel the
energy of winter. Feel the sensation of the air on my face, hear the
calls of the many birds that come for food at our many bird feeders and the
soft crunch of the ice crystals atop the snow on the ground as I walk...
and often capture a few photos of nature's surrounding miracles.
And Look Up...
So often it is the trees and their beautiful branches that call to my soul.
This was my view three days ago as I looked up on the
morning after a light snowfall during the night...
I am and having always been fascinated by the reaching of the branches.
Often climbing high into the branches of the apple trees in our yard as a young girl.
This amazing tree is on the little 9 hole golf course just behind our house now
and I have been in love with it since the moment I saw it when
we moved here ten years ago. I love how one of its branches simply rests
upon the ground, allowing mother earth to support it before it travels upward.
I once sat on one of its branches late one night, looking up
to the heavens at the beauty of an eclipse.
Trees. There is magic in them. There is sacred energy.
They often bend and give when harsh winds blow...
and playfully sway as their leaves dance with gentle summer breezes...
They have much to teach us with their gentle wisdom.
The light is different in the winter. Skies seem bluer and clouds
seem whiter with the contrast of the trees and shadows.
Keep your eyes open for hidden gifts in the shadows...
...like a raven on a branch that lends its silhouette to a nearby tree.
There is also the gift of the quietude of Cape Cod during the winter months...
when the summer vacationers have left and the beaches now look like this
as I walk them to gather the sea stones that become the canvas for my work...
...and the amazing beauty of bare branches against gorgeous winter skies.
I am grateful for the windows in my studio of our home
over the garage for many reasons, and one of them
is because I am at the level of the higher tree branches...
I can often enjoy the circus acrobatics
of the squirrels scurrying from limb to limb only feet away while I create
on my sea stones and journals.
Winter has always made me want to slow down...to go within...
feeling the stillness of the earth and the stillness within my soul.
And this winter has called my spirit to embrace stillness even more
as our days are often spent waiting hours in doctor's offices
and traveling long distances to and from appointments.
I will share with you here that there is also something else that has brought
an inner calm to my spirit this winter...and a peacefulness to my soul.
It is a broken branch.
A branch that had fallen in our back yard during Hurricane Sandy a few months ago.
As we were outside cleaning up the many broken branches that had fallen
during the storm, there was a branch that 'called' to my heart.
I could not throw it together with the others...and so I brought it inside.
I took it upstairs to my studio and I placed it gently in the
"Quiet Corner" of my studio. It fit perfectly in this space, with the slope
of the ceiling holding it snugly in place...
I loved it and I called it my "Branch Tree".
(I've always loved bringing bits of nature into our home so this
felt perfectly natural to me and I loved the way it 'felt' in this sacred space.)
A few days after I had placed it in my Quiet Corner I felt a little inner tug
to begin to wrap some beads on its branches...So I gathered some
tiny seed beads and brought them over to it with some wire to wrap them.
I knelt on the floor by the branch and began to slowly
wrap the wire and beads around the branches of this broken limb...
and the sweetest sense of calm came over me.
It was as if time stood still...and as I was on my knees wrapping
these tiny beads I was in the most peaceful prayer state.
I have come to this place many times over these past several weeks
(especially on days when my world seems to be unraveling)
...knelt down in the Quiet Corner of my studio...
... and wrapped more and more tiny seed beads around the branches...
feeling a profound peacefulness within...
I love each and every minute of
wrapping the beautiful beads around the limbs...
offering up peaceful energy and prayers for all those in need of love and healing...
family, friends, prayers for our planet...mother earth...the animals.
It is has become an ongoing loving, joyful time.
Now I call it my Peaceful Prayer Tree.
And it makes my heart smile.
I wish you peaceful Winter Days...and Nights.
Finding things that call to YOUR heart and spirit
that bring you your own Winter Harmony...
It can be anything ... really.
It can be as simple as a broken branch.
with love and gratitude,
Sandi Pike Foundas is the owner, maker, designer, curator, and Vision-Keeper for Love From Cape Cod.
Her purpose is to bring a little extra love to the world...using lots of color. Her joy is found in the amazingly powerful and beautiful energy within the sea stones she work with...and the delight her heart feels when creating with mixed fabrics, ribbons, feathers, 'baubles and beads' on her hand-embellished journals and note books.
You can see her beautiful sea stones and journals at her Etsy shop.