..”When in that quiet aisle my feet have trod I have found peace among the silver trees,…”

Andrew Greeley

Although not all birch bark is white, in the winter season we often see the bark from the white or silver birch species wired into wreaths. The bark is perceptible as thin, papery plates of peeling layers with a distinct, horizontal, parallel pattern. Seemingly dainty and delicate, birch bark is strong, flexible, and water resistant.  Typically, birch is a pioneer, short-lived species that populates an area after a perturbation. They are widespread in the northern temperate and boreal climates of the Northern Hemisphere. The beautiful birch trees represent renewal, growth, and adaptability. They arise quickly and acclimate easily.

In this time of rest and inner reflection, we contemplate what we intend to cultivate and grow as we welcome back the sustaining solar energy and light into our lengthening days. In our acknowledgement of the Winter Solstice, we can rejoice in our renewal and release our regrets. As the birch, we can arise quickly and acclimate easily if we root ourselves firmly in our grounded center and reach toward the light. We can peel back our tender, fragile layers to expose the essence of our authentic self.  From here, we grow in our resplendent resilience, sensitive, yet strong and pliable, yet powerful.

Published by Sarah Croscutt

I am the owner and facilitator of From the Outside, LLC, a program that connects people to the natural world, themselves, and each other through plant and nature-based activity, promoting self-awareness, healing, wholeness, and community. In addition, I am an environmental writer with essays included in several anthologies published by Plants and Poetry Journal and Wild Roof Journal (online). I would love to connect here or on Instagram @sarahc_outside.

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