A Time to Listen in a New Way

By Dr. Tom Cowan


This week we celebrated the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. Many of us have undoubtedly felt this absence of light in our lives. We have experienced lots of trying news, relationship challenges and hard decisions, probably more so than usual at this solstice. This sense of the constriction of the light and outer warmth is also mirrored in the fact that we have less fresh food to eat during this time of the year. It's harder to get out and play, to go to the beach, to even go for walks. Everything just seems a bit heavier and more challenging.   

However, it is this very time of year that all great spiritual traditions have spoken about the coming of the light into the world. This is not only a metaphor and a spiritual truth, but also a mirroring of what is to come in our outer world. Spring will come, the days do start to get longer, and warmth will return. We can keep this kind of resurrection image in our hearts. If we can deeply listen to the stirrings in our heart, maybe, just maybe, these difficulties and breaches we all experience in our lives can be warmed through and healed. Maybe, just maybe, we can commit ourselves to listening to others, even — maybe most importantly — to those with whom we disagree. Maybe we can find a way to listen in a new way, a way that attempts to understand the struggles, challenges and pains the other is feeling. Maybe, if we do this, we will learn something about ourselves.  

This is a difficult request. It's difficult to ask of others, it's hard to ask of myself. But whoever put on their gravestone the words, "I avoided all the difficult challenges in my life"? Our company, Dr. Cowan's Garden, has been graced this year with continued success and prosperity because of the support and encouragement of our wonderful friends and customers. We are trying to add light — vibrant food, connection with the land and organic farmers — to all our lives.  I am blessed to be part of this venture, and I have you all to thank. So, thank you from the deep well of my being for all your support and encouragement. Together we can do this.  

With gratitude,
Tom