.....patience of a snail


It’s back……  For some reason I believed that I was going to make it through the whole winter without its return.   Why wouldn’t I believe that?  February already drawing to a close with spring a mere three weeks away.  I was sure this year would be different.

But no. I was mistaken.   It’s back……..


I saw it as I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror.  The winter belly.

All of my life I have been fairly slim, with the needle on the scale never moving more than 10 pounds in either direction.  But when the needle is trending in the upward direction, the extra weight always settles itself comfortably into my belly.   A roundness.  Or as we women so affectionately call it (not!) the muffin top.  A sure sign of a long winter. 

Yesterday while walking through the back yard I stop to notice my garden.  Packed thick with crusty snow and ice, only the remaining brittle brown stems and leaves of last year’s plants poking through to form some contrast.  No birds.  No squirrels.  Complete and utter stillness.  A deep quiet.  A sure sign of a long winter.

The season of winter is the energy of Earth.  Grounded, quiet and still.  The energy of landing in this moment and noticing.  Nowhere to go, nothing to do.  Earth energy is the death……but is also the source of life.   Our beginning and our end. Earth is the field of pure potential from which we rise and to which we will return. 

I look a little closer at the garden.  Dead would be the word most people would use.  But is it?  How incredible is it that only 3 weeks from now when the snow has melted and I push aside the brush there will be new life rising to greet me.  I imagine it saying something like “Thank God!  I thought you might have forgotten about me!”.   The garden is dead only in that it has let go of the past.  Released last year’s flowers and seeds to make room for the new.   But as I sit here writing, the roots below are quietly continuing to strengthen and gain nourishment so that when the time is right, they can take what appears to be nothing, and create the stunning beauty that is my summer wheel garden. 

The Kaya Wellness studio that I go to in Rehoboth sent out an email this week that spoke to this late winter earth energy and its connection to the snail energy.  I liked this:

Snail medicine speaks of patience and steady progress towards a goal. Snails are also highly sensitive. Nature shows us that although spring is eminent, we practice patience not to emerge too soon and risk a damaging frost. The lesson for you to follow is to act when the time is right. You may be eager to throw the windows open and start spring cleaning, or don a pair of shorts for the boardwalk. Perhaps you have other projects in the eaves. Be patient. What areas of your life are you rushing through?

Snails call to us to practice awareness and mindfulness. The entire body and antennae are a sensory tool. As you beckon nature to hurry up to meet your demands, it is a prime time to observe your own being. What is keeping you from living in the now? What are you escaping? The shell of the snail is a spiral pattern that shows you the path inward.

As for my belly……..like roots, it too is being nourished and building an inner power so that when the time is right  I can burst forth and create the expansion I have been sensing.  But like the snail I won’t rush it.  For now I will continue to meditate, read, move slowly in my practice and notice my unlimited potential.  And….continue to have the 4 ginger snaps with my tea each evening. 

Accepting this moment exactly as it is,