After weeks of a truly warm and golden autumn, winter has set in. “The weather outside is frightful, the fire inside delightful…Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” A wonderful time of the year. d winter, the cold, ice and snow, and the pervasive darkness inviting. The pull to keep warm, to cover up, to seek the company of those of good will, and to breathe in the aromas of pine, orange, and hearty foods inspire the imagination.
Images, visual/auditory/tactile, abound in our soul’s depths. It’s like descending into a basement and discovering an old trunk full of ancestral artifacts and memories. After a whiff of dust and staleness, objects tell stories, the deceased become present, hopes are revived, and losses mourned once again. The construct of what is considered “real” collapses under the weight of the invisible and intuitive.
Gnomes and other trickster figures begin their annual Christmas visitations. No simple hallucinations can be blamed for entire cultures embracing a needed corrective truth: we are not the masters and we are not in charge. Gnomes, elves, tomtes, domovyky, and unnamed as of yet “others” gaze at us and judge our moral lives. Are we good stewards of the earth, of air, of water, of spirit and soul?
As we prepare for the birth of the divine child and embrace weakness over power, and poverty over wealth, let us not be scrooges—feed the gnomes some porridge in the cold and darkness of winter’s night.
Kindle the embers of soulful imagination!