Home' Aurora : Aurora July 2011 Contents 8
| Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle | www.mn.catholic.org.au
IAM WRITING on 1 June, the first
day of winter, although sources tell
me that winter arrived early in the
Hunter. I have not long returned from
a wonderful four weeks overseas, the
immediate legacy of which has been the
dreaded post-long haul flight syndrome
which has kept me at home for longer
than I would have wished. I hate to be out
For all that, it has provided time to
reflect on my travel experiences, and
also to embrace winter - my favourite
season of the year. By the time you are
reading this, it will be July, the depth
of winter, and some will be well and
truly over it!
The prophetic Michael Leunig
wrote "The sun has turned away
from us and the nest of summer
hangs broken in a tree. Life slips
through our fingers and, as darkness
gathers, our hands grow cold....It is
time for reflection and resonance. It
is time for contemplation. Let us go
inside." (Common Prayer Collection,
Australia is a nation of summerphiles
and yet our relatively mild winter (at
least in our region) enables us to enjoy
all that the season has to offer without
suffering too much.
Wayne Muller writes
The old, wise Sabbath says: Stop now.
As the sun touches the horizon, take the
hand off the plough,
put down the phone, let the pen rest
on the paper,
turn off the computer, leave the mop
in the bucket
and the car in the drive....
The deep wisdom embedded in creation
will take care of things for a while.
"Sabbath" quoted in MR Broz & B Flynn,
Midwives of an Unnamed Future:
Spirituality for Women in Times of
ACTA Publications Skokie 2006
In the northern hemisphere, cruel winter
conditions force people to slow down
and limit activity. That is less likely here,
but shorter days and lower temperatures
provide their own opportunities: to rest
longer, to sit with a book, to stay home,
to bake without dreading the heat of
the oven, to enjoy the garden's low
Days spent inside can of course, be whiled
away watching endless sport on television,
but it is also a time for craft projects, for
sitting with family photos or climbing the
family tree, for restoring a satisfying order
to one's surroundings.
And then there's red wine, soul-warming
casseroles and soups, and chocolate
biscuits - just one or two...
It's also a great time to exercise! You
return from a lovely long walk invigorated
rather than needing resuscitation. My lack
of fitness is possibly asserting itself here...
For some, the winter months are a time
to step back from the busy routines of life
by retreating, literally. Whether individually,
as part of a group of friends or strangers,
there are many places, locally and beyond,
that welcome those who come seeking
rest, renewal and rejuvenation. Many years
ago now, I attended a "Samhain" (the
Celtic name for winter) weekend retreat led
by composer and musician Trisha Watts.
Her appreciation of the gifts of this season
has remained with me.
winter is easily the toughest season.
Organisations like the St Vincent de Paul
Society and the Samaritans are grateful
for warm clothing and blankets, so don't
wait until spring to clear those cupboards.
Of course, cash donations will be warmly
received and put to good use immediately.
Whether you relish winter's charms or are
counting the days until 1 September, do
take the opportunity to retreat, at least
from some of the tasks of the milder
months. Who knows, next year you may
find yourself anticipating June!
And meanwhile, let us go inside.
Now is the
By TRACEY EDSTEIN
Visit the St Vincent de Paul Society at
and The Samaritans at
If you are looking for time out in
peaceful surroundings, contact Sister
Colleen Carney at the Tenison Woods
Education Centre, a ministry of the
Sisters of St Joseph. P 4930 9601
or E firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
courtesy of John
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