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WINTER REST



DON’T FERTILIZE IN WINTER

Be still and know that I am God. Ps 40:10


I cannot remember how this plant came to live with me, but it has been with me a long time. Moved with me when we moved; survived a terrible event when its pot was smashed. Now it was time to replant the Peace Lily. I thought to google the best way to care for it. It said: Do not fertilize in the winter. It is time for the plant to rest and rejuvenate. I thinned out the old clumps; threw out the old soil; replanted with new potting soil and healthy stems.

As you can see it did not handle the trauma well. New shoots are coming. Eventually it will fill in but now its sadness greets me daily as I put my very sore feet on the floor, at its feet, in the morning. We seem to be suffering in silence together. I will not fertilize it. I will let it rest. I have apologized.


Here it is again: Advent. The cosmetics and frenzy of Christmas are everywhere. My dear friend is disturbed. “I just want Christmas to be over!” My son facing the first Christmas without his wife has no idea how to decorate. That was her job, and she did it magnificently. I remember the fatigue and irritability I suffered when our kids were little and not so little trying to create a perfect Christmas.


I recall a blog I wrote: A Covid Christmas Reflection about how I tried to ignore the holiday and did nothing to prepare. Recalling learning the lesson of how Christmas happened that year, without any help from me, I began to watch again this year for the gifts I usually miss.


Quiet Day at church: a clutch of four elderly ladies, the fourth carrying her very large purse, grouped one right after the other, walking the Labyrinth, reminded me of the three kings in search of God.

A little pile of Advent cards on the lobby desk: the reverse side has a prayer written by Henri Nouwen. One line stands out: “We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.” My husband and I are starting each day with the prayer. I take one to my despondent friend.


Sitting is the sun, this morning, I thank God for sunlight and warmth and beauty. A verse pops into my head: Be still and know that I am God. When I google to find the verse in the bible a commentary explains that Israel may have been at war or about to be. In that light, the tone of this verse can be read: stop striving, stop fighting, and stop trying to do things on your own. Stop stressing.


Whoa! This is a blog! To explain to Jim that I will be away on the computer for a while, I quote the verse. He brightens. A stroke has left speech difficult for him, but I realize that he is trying to tell me something. I hear “forty” and what sounds like “psalm”. Psalm 40:10. I ask: “How do you know it?”

When I was a kid at Bible Camp there was a sign on a hill overlooking a lake with that verse on it. It was a calm place. I picture the rustic wooden cross by the lake where I attended Bible Camp. Another gift of Advent.


I am old now. I have more time to reflect than I did in the busy seasons of life. I can still learn new lessons. Don’t fertilize in winter. Don’t feed stress. Rest. Rejuvenate. The Celtic season of Samhain reminds us to do just this.


Submitted By

Ann Dolbier

Celtic Way Board Member & Contributor

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