The steel rails of the El Train roar as they screech, bright sparks illuminating red against frosty wheels. The wooden train platform is high and narrow, the wind whipping through the splintered slats and rusted rivets. I pull my scarf close and try to find the gloves inside my bag. It’s an inhuman kind of cold in the city today. Only late November, I know that the winds will only become stronger as they howl endlessly through the empty branches and brick alleyways.
As the last of November is swept away along with the remaining leaves, it’s hard to look towards the cold months ahead and think warmly. But as witches, we know we must do so. For we are the stewards of the seasons; guardians of the subtle natural changes that others ignore. And it is up to us to find beauty in all aspects of the wheel of the year.
For me that means respecting the bitter cold of Chicago, something difficult to do as the temperatures free fall and the daylight hours seem to slip through my fingers. But then again, I remember the previous years and I know that beneath the bitter cold and darkness there will be much beauty and power to be found.
I know that when the snows begin to fall they will cover the grey dirt and grime of the streets, making our roads glimmer diamond in the morning light. Along with the cold winds, the air becomes clear and the moonlight shines brighter. I remember times last winter as I walked towards the lake and saw the wild waters crash against sandy shores. The winds formed sand dunes into great monolithic structures of ice and frost. Standing nearby I could feel the wild uncontrollable power of the waves. A feeling that reminded me that we individuals are only minor players among the greater powers. For in winter, we are reminded that we are beholden to nature and such knowledge gives us a greater appreciation and connection to the spirits of the wild.
As witches, we are the ones that take notice and tap into this power. To feel the rush of those winter winds run through our veins. To stand beneath the moon and have its light bathe our skin. Such feelings are available to all, yet only us witches aim to understand them. Only us witches take the time to harness and use these powerful forces. Our winter walks become a subversive act against the complacency of those that shut themselves in and ignore the power and beauty to behold.
Remembering all this I am comforted as stand upon the wooden platform waiting for my train. I watch a solitary leaf fall and dance between bare branches before meeting the ground. I smile as I observe the empty trees swaying in the wind. For as the last of the leaves fall and crumble against the frost, I know the great wilds of winter are storming in. A power and energy I look forward to seeing and working with again.