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  • Every year, nature quietly takes us throughmoral lesson that has much to teach us about  

  • how we might relate to certain of the more  dispiriting and despair-inducing moments  

  • in our own development. Beginning in mid-October  in the northern hemisphere, the temperature drops,  

  • the nights draw in, the earth turns cold and hardfog lies low over the land and rain drives hard  

  • across the austere, comatose grey-brown landscapeThere is nothing immediate we can hope for; now  

  • we have nothing to do but wait, with resigned  patience, until something better shows up

  • Far more than we can generally accept, our minds  too have cycles. We cannot be permanently fruitful  

  • or creative, excited or open. There are necessary  times of retrenchment when, whatever we might  

  • desire, there seems no alternative but to stop. We  can no longer be productive; we lose direction and  

  • inspiration. We are immovably numb and sterile. It can be easy to panic:  

  • why should such a paralysed and detached mood  have descended on our formerly lively minds?  

  • Where have all our ideas and hopes gone? What has  happened to our previous animation and gladness

  • We should at such times take reassurance from  the late November landscape. Certainly things  

  • are lifeless, cold and in suspension. But this is  not the end of the story; the earth is like this  

  • not as a destination but as a phase. The deadness  is a prelude to new life; the fallow period  

  • is a guarantor of fecund days to come. All  living organisms need to recharge themselves,  

  • old leaves have to give way, tired limbs must  rest. The dance and ferment could not go on.  

  • It may look as if nothing at all is happeningas though this is a trance without purpose. Yet,  

  • deep underground, at this very  moment, nutrients are being gathered,  

  • the groundwork for future ebullience and dynamism  is being laid down, another summer is very slowly  

  • collecting its strength. As nature seeks to tell us,  

  • we cannot permanently be in flower. We need  moments of repose and confusion. There is  

  • nothing to fear. Things will re-emerge. We should  make our peace with our own midwinters - and lean  

  • on nature’s wise accommodation to strengthen  us in our pursuit of serenity and patience.

Every year, nature quietly takes us throughmoral lesson that has much to teach us about  

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