February 2015 Ritual: Let the Winter Go!

By Diann L. NeuNature Photography

          This has been a hard and long winter for many: more ice and slush, less warmth; more wind and snow, less sun; a time for more hibernation and less community. A thaw and a green world must be around the bend!

          Pay attention to spring renewal: days growing longer, daffodial peeking out from Earth, and birds returning to singing. Say goodbye to winter and welcome spring!  

Go, Winter, Go! 

Depart from our lives, deadening spirit of winter.
          Response: Go, winter, go!

Be gone, all slippery ice, slushy sleet, dangerous snow, and piercing winds.
          Response: Go, winter, go!

Be gone, all ice, sleet, and cold in our personal lives: snide remarks, judgmental statements, cruel jokes, nasty gossip, untruthful comments, fear, anger, jealousy.
           Response: Go, winter, go!

Be gone, times of loneliness and harshness.
           Response: Go, winter, go!

Hear our prayer and go, O Spirit of Winter. Depart from our neighborhoods and from our lives for another year.
           Be gone. Be gone. Be gone.

Song: Lyrics from “Julian of Norwich” by Sidney Carter on All Shall Be Well Again by Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir, Ed Trickett, Folk-Legacy Records, Sharon, CT, © 1983. Listen Herehttp://youtu.be/lDhX_P9ehEw

Loud are the bells of Norwich, as the people come and go.
Here by the tower of Julian I tell them what I know.

Chorus: Ring out, bells of Norwich (Ring a bell)
And let the winter come and go.
All shall be well again I know.

Love, like the yellow daffodil, is coming through the snow;
Love, like the yellow daffodil, brings joy to all I know. (Chorus)

Ring for the yellow daffodil, the flower in the snow.
Ring for the yellow daffodil and tell them what I know. (Chorus)

All shall be well, I’m telling you,
let the winter come and go.
All shall be well again I know.

Winter and spring represent seasons of our lives.
What of this winter do I want to hold on to?
What do I need to let go?
What is the springtime for which I hope?
What changes do I need to make to live into spring?
Welcome Spring

Source of Life, Divine Providence,
One who brings forth crocuses and daffodils,
Praise to you for blessing Earth with beauty.
Renew us with flowing water, blooming flowers,
Singing birds, and spring light.

May I notice the renewal of Earth.
May my eyes open to new life peeking out of the soil.
May my ears hear the singing birds.
May my feet touch Earth gently.
May I return blessings to Earth, sea, and sky.

May Earth be renewed.
May waters be clean.
May air be pure.
May we be whole.
May all be well again.
Amen. Blessed be. Let it be so.

Take Action to Renew Earth

• Let go of fear, anger, jealousy, judgmental statements, and negativity. Welcome friendship.
• Notice spring alive in your neighborhood − flowers blooming, birds nesting, children playing.
• Clean up litter in your community.
• Buy foods grown locally when possible and eat lower on the food chain.
• Reduce – energy, trips in cars, trash by recycling and composting, use cloth bags for shopping, use cloth napkins instead of paper, buy secondhand clothes, and donate used items.
• Plant − an herb, vegetable, flower, kindness.
• Spring clean – store seasonal clothes, check appliances, remove clutter, wash windows, get outdoor patios and decks ready for entertaining, renew yourself.
• Cultivate a mindset of thanks.


© 2015 Diann L. Neu, D.Min., MSW, is Co-founder and Co-director of WATER, dneu@hers.com.