Thursday, December 22, 2011


The beauty of the universe expresses itself in simplicity.
Margaret J. Wheatley, TURNING TO ONE ANOTHER

Winter is the time of year when we are confronted head-on with simplicity.   In the latitude where I live, as the earth turns away from the sun, temperatures drop. Water molecules slow down to the point where water freezes as cold envelops the landscape.   Most plants go into a state of rest - they shed their leaves in preparation for this time of rest.  Many animals hibernate, or migrate to warmer climates.  Those who remain grow thicker fur, find burrows to hole up in, and begin to feast on the stockpiles of food they have gathered in preparation for this time of scarcity.  And it is during this period where darkness dominates the hours of the day.

Humans often try to fight this time of simplicity.  We turn on more lights, we crank up our furnaces, we lock ourselves up in our homes and our buildings, or we try to migrate to warmer destinations ourselves.  Instead of finding ways to participate in this season of cold, we look for ways to control it, or distract ourselves from it.  But as hard as we try winter goes on.   So why don’t we simply enjoy it?  Could it be that this time of reflection scares us?  

Despite our large brains, it seems that more often than not we have become afraid of thinking, of looking around us to see what all our attempts at control are doing to the world around us and to ourselves.   My goal for this season is to take advantage of this time of slowness, to look at my own life, and to find ways that I can enjoy the simplicity of the universe - perhaps to become more a part of it.  I invite you to do the same.  


  1. Hi Tom,
    Did you know that Meg Wheatley is going to be doing some workshops in town this spring? Here's one that I'm going to:
    Michael Bischoff

    1. Michael,

      I did and will be there as well.