The Promise of Dormancy

It was one of those days that I felt like a frayed wire.  I was exhausted, overstimulated and crabby.  It was also a beautiful rare 40 degree day in January.  I grabbed my camera and wandered off into the yard.

"What are you going to take pictures of?"  My husband voice trailed after me as I trekked up into the pasture. "I dunno." I said truthfully.  But I had my macro lens fitted on my camera and I knew well enough if I wandered a while, the urge to punch someone in the neck would drastically lessen.

As I wandered through the pasture, the neighboring cattle lowing in the distance, I had challenged myself to find beauty in the the drab dormant surroundings.  Most think it ugly, bleak, harsh in contrast to spring or summer.  It is no surprise that most people love spring and summer: the rebirth, the colors the vibrancy (and the heat.)  For the most part, winter is harsh.  But as I slowed down, and looked, really LOOKED, there were amazing things to be discovered in that dismal setting.

Dormancy, that period of waiting. Why is it necessary? What's the big deal?  I read some about dormancy after my wandering and found the science surrounding it fascinating, and applicable to life as I know it.  Dormancy allows the conditions become ideal for new growth and development. Without dormancy, the plant sprouts too early in less than ideal conditions and die.  Dormant seeds allow plants to give rise to new species.  The white spruce requires a chilling period before it can continue new growth and development.

In contrast, human society thrives on and encourages constant motion. Development, advancement, success, exhaustion and popularity are benchmarks of doing it "right."  Being "busy" is our most prized adulting merit badge.  News syndicates throw out ill-prepared stories to get clicks and likes.  People tweet poorly-thought out messages to cause pain before they are pained.   We are becoming programmed to rush, to react, never to pause and wait, because "doing nothing" is a lazy crime.  This constant, self imposed activity is what had lead me to standing still and alone in this pasture.  Anxiety and stress started to fall from me like the helicopter seeds my children throw in the air, spiraling away in the breeze. ,

But nature waits. When we don't interfere with nature, she seems to handle things pretty well.  For say, oh, thousands of years.  She takes some time to rest.  She insists her plants and trees indulge an idleness that allows them to function again, sometimes even better than before. 

We could learn from observing her.  There is beauty in the pause.  It is reparative.  It is necessary.  Dormant periods allow timing to synchronize with the environment that is the most beneficial and ideal for our growth. We must be willing to slow down, suspend the need to "go, go, go" and risk exposure, weathering to allow ourselves to mature and blossom.

*Disclaimer* I realize some of these may not be dormant seed/seed pods/plant in dormancy.  For the sake of poetic creativity, please don't feel the need to point that out. Just enjoy the images! :)