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Healing Your Soil, Grow Your Roots, Winter’s Gift of Dormancy

The more I live with the flow of nature, the flow of sunlight, the happier and healthier I feel. I say this a lot. I'll say it again.

Every season offers its own magic. Spring brings new life, new opportunity, and emerging. Summer bring connectedness to the outside world. Fall gives an opportunity to recognize and honor abundance and gratitude, and to do some serious cleaning and clearing.

So, what does Winter offer? Winter offers the beautiful gift of dormancy.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, in the small town of Aurora, Oregon. Being in the northern hemisphere, our seasons bring dramatic daylight changes. Right now, just days away from Winter Solstice we have more hours of the night, the dark, than we do of the day, of the light.

Looking around our 43-acres of farm and forest, there's not much activity. Most of the wild animals have found their own hibernating space, or headed south for warmer weather. Coyotes and other animals here have built up fat and their winter coats. They have worked hard all summer and fall preparing for this season. They will find winter shelters away from competing packs. For them, it's a time of rest and recouping. It's not that they won't still hunt for food, but they know it is scarcer and their hunting is more opportunistic. So they don't journey as far unless they really have too. They keep their expended energy to as minimal as possible.

Looking at the plants, you might think that they were hibernating too. Deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their leaves. Non-evergreen perennial plants have disappeared into the ground. The truth is, this is anything but a time of dormancy for plants. While a plant's "top", that which is above the dirt, is not active, plants like the coyotes are working on rebuilding in their own way. In the winter, a plant's roots can double in size, so that come spring and into the summer, its whole being will grow stronger and larger. But right now, no longer involved with the above dirt world, it can use all the energy to build stronger, bigger or expansive roots quietly.

Nature is pretty smart. Her rhythms have a purpose. If we too follow nature, or own natural rhythms, we can look at this season as our own time to rest, rebuild and grow stronger.

Winter is quieter. Due to our weather and hours of darkness, we tend not to travel or visit as much. We have more time to ourselves. This our time of dormancy, a time to focus on our roots. And as a farmer and gardener, I know the only way to grow strong roots is to have them feed on good soil.

So, how's your soil? What are your roots growing in? Spring is coming soon. There is an emerging that comes with spring, literally and energetically. When it's time to emerge with spring, whether physically by seeing more people, energetically with release new adventures in your life, if your winter soil was burdened or drained of its nutrients if you are exhausted, stressed and generally unhealthy, you can't expect a strong plant (you) to sprout or blossom this spring.

Now is a great time to ask yourself, What will make your roots grow strong? What can you do during this time of dormancy to feed your soil? And more importantly, then do it.

Dormancy is just one of Winter's Gifts, a time of healing, quiet but significant important growth. It's a time of you, a time to go deep within and look deeply at your soil.

I'll try to break away from my own rest and share more about how you can clean up your soil before spring comes and it's time to emerge.

Until then, rest up and grow strong.

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