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Winter Newsletter

December 21, 2018

Dear Community,

The year is coming to a close as we reach the winter solstice. Darkness descends with short days and long nights. Snow is forecast for tomorrow. Winter is here, the longest season in New England. This is the time of year when the silhouettes of the trees stand out against the gray sky. We see the bare bones of the trees, their essence not softened by leaves, but strong in their nakedness. Nature is quiet now, cold, resting and dormant after the growing season.

In Chinese medicine this is the time of the Water Element.  The Water Element relates to the kidney and the bladder. These organs regulate the fluids in our bodies, contain our reserves of energy, and store our “jing,” which is our inherited qi, or the energy passed to us by our ancestors. The kidneys are considered a powerhouse of energy that drives all of the activity of our body-mind and spirit.  This is the storehouse of our vital essence. When the kidneys are depleted, our storehouse supplies run low and we can feel fatigue, lethargy, and a lack of vitality. Winter is the time to rest and replenish our kidney energy for the spring to come.

To benefit the kidney energy, drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. Eat warm foods, such as hearty stews and soups. Winter squash, homemade bone broth, and garlic are great immune enhancers for the winter. Herbs that support your health during this season include ginger, elderberry, turmeric and Echinacea. Give into the urge and take a nap. Go to bed early. Come in for an acupuncture treatment to recharge your kidney energy. These activities will help you rejuvenate as we prepare for spring's renewal.

This is the time of year to slow down and reflect on our lives. What is our essence? How do we revitalize ourselves? What do we need to do so that we can bring light into the world when spring returns? Winter and the dark give us this opportunity to ponder these larger questions.

Warm winter blessings to all of you,

Margaret Ryding


Winter's Cloak

This year I do not want
the dark to leave me.
I need its wrap
of silent stillness,
its cloak
of long lasting embrace.
Too much light
has pulled me away
from the chamber
of gestation.

Let the dawns
come late,
let the sunsets
arrive early,
let the evenings
extend themselves
while I lean into
the abyss of my being.

Let me lie in the cave
of my soul,
for too much light
blinds me,
steals the source
of revelation.

Let me seek solace
in the empty places
of winter's passage,
those vast dark nights
that never fail to shelter me.

-Joyce Rupp