A Winter Reflection from Rock

Welcome to our redesigned website and new blog!  We hope this new site can be more interactive and provide a platform to communicate the Lagom Landing experience with future students, longtime and new supporters and volunteers, alumni, and the larger community we have formed in our eight years!

We also hope to reflect on the season and our activities from time to time in this blog. Here are some thoughts from Rock about winter and waiting:

A new year has begun, and in Western New York, we are enveloped in the dark days of winter’s cold and wind. It is easy to wrap ourselves in a  cocoon of hibernation. Lethargy of body, mind, and spirit can creep in. We can enter into a time of “comfortable numbness” (thanks Pink Floyd!) if we are not mindful. Surrounding ourselves in food, drink, TV, shopping, we can check out ’til spring, and a whole season goes by! But at what cost and what loss?

The church’s season of Advent, which just ended in the 12 days of Christmas, is a time of waiting. Waiting is a deeply countercultural experience. Most of us can obtain whatever information we want when we want it through our phones. We measure who we are and our purpose by what we do and how efficiently and quickly we produce. Nature has so much to teach us, but we drive by it blindly at 75 miles per hour or drown it out with loud music, video games, and mindless tv and social media feeds.

What is the mystery offered up at this time of year? The glory of autumn leaves lie decaying on the forest floor, bare branches and the cold north wind remind us that life is indeed fragile and we are vulnerable, frail creatures.

Perhaps this time of year is a gift offered to our frenzied spirits. What if dormancy and reflection were a necessary ingredient in our hectic lives? Sit by a window with a cup of tea, watch a gentle snowfall, and you may find a remedy for hurry-sickness. Grab a pair of cross country skis and head out into the quiet of the woods. Look at the incredibly fragile beauty of ice-frosted branches.

Ponder for a moment the wonder of snowflakes—observe the exquisite intricacy of one of these six-sided wonders on your jacket—then imagine the snowfields throughout the world packed with a million, billion, trillion of these crystals! Each one unique in its design. Talk about mind-blowing . . . or perhaps expanding! To enter more deeply into the wonder of snow, look up Snowflake Bentley—the godfather of snowflake photography from Jericho, VT.

Winter reminds us of the loss in our own lives—the death and dying of people we love, of unrealized dreams, the truth that each of us will indeed experience winter in its truest sense.

Winter can also teach us of a strange hope, a promise that the decay and seeming lifeless gray world around us is not the final word. We can wait with an awareness “that unless a seed falls into the ground and dies it cannot spring up.” So I encourage all of us to open our eyes and spirits to the wonder and mystery and gift of this season. To intentionally pull ourselves away from mind-numbing distraction and just sit and ponder for a while.

Perhaps we may experience the truth that “more is being revealed” if we are willing to watch and wait. To paraphrase singer/songwriter Josh Garrels,

 

            “So lift your eyes just one more time,

            if there’s any hope let it be a sign

            that everything was made to shine

            despite what you may see.”

 

With a hopeful heart,

Rock, Co-Founder and Co-Director

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