The older I get, the more I love the snow. This winter, as more snow has fallen than in almost any winter on record, I hated what it did to the convenience in my life at first. But now I see that each flake is a kiss from the hag, the Spirit of Winter, the old woman who presides over the deepening times of life, whenever they may occur. She blesses us as we struggle with truths that become visible in the stark bone essence of the winter landscape, whether of the environment or of our souls. She is the midwife of necessary endings and promises the hope of beginnings, however much they may or not be welcomed.
Whether you are in the spring of life or nearing its end, snow has a message for you, for we all have times when we need the blessings of the Winter Hag. She could leave us to our fates, but instead, like the good Mother that She is, she is present and makes herself known in these tiny drops of water, the very substance of life.
Snow is healing – it calms and quiets. It has a soothing wisdom that does not proclaim, but instead drifts silently into consciousness, like a first snowfall on the grass. When we are aching from loss, snow shows us how to be a balm for ourselves and others.
Snow honors and comforts the poorest. Its beauty is for all. It makes next spring’s crops grow as it brings nutrients to the soil of every farmer. No one’s sorrows or needs, even our own, are too meager for snow’s ministrations.
Snow demands respect. If its power in an avalanche or blizzard is ignored or belittled, its destruction can be devastating. But these maelstroms are part of the earth and its atmosphere, just as upheaval is necessary in our own lives at times. Snow requires us to honor all aspects of Her nature, and we learn that we must also honor our own.
Snow knows how to be solitary – the single flake wafting down from the sky – and also one of many as a storm. Especially in times of emotional winter, we must be alone to meet ourselves but also be able to then re-emerge into the company of others and begin to live again.
If you are lucky enough to live where it snows, go outside the next time the Hag of Winter breathes her blessings upon you. Let her surround and embrace you with her cooling, strengthening, mysterious presence. Learn from her. If you live in a warmer climate, seek her anyway. She is there for you.