Resting at The Winter Gate

This Winter Solstice, I was stopped in my tracks by a ravaging flu virus. I can honestly say now that I am grateful for the experience. I had a fever for seven days and seven nights and I happened to be child and work free that week, so I simply rested. I rested for so many days that I sank into a very deep place of quiet and healing. In this place of dreaming and fire, many things burned away. Everything that no longer resonated, anything that was distracting to my true purpose, my essential being-ness left me. There were moments of profound emotional and physical pain and somehow this commingled with divine ecstasy. Of course I had my plant allies with me; Yarrow, Elder, Balsam Root and plenty of bone broth stew. When I finally emerged from my deep hot hibernation, there was snow on the ground and I was a changed person. Ever since this winter's rest, I have not been able to allow people to cross my boundaries. I suddenly find it impossible to participate in anything dysfunctional. I have made healthy changes and clarified everything in my life, making room again for my own poetry, delight and nourishment. I plan to set aside time like this (hopefully without the flu) to just rest, each winter, allowing my soul to heal, decompress and simply be. 

I wrote this poem in the days of winter stillness:


Floating in starlight

as my body throbs with sweat

on this queen futon

piled with grandmother quilts

strewn with journal,

cedar smudge, matches,

tincture bottles,

tea cups, beeswax candle, drum, pen, soup bowl

and the book

"The Earth's Blanket"

in my tiny loft

in my tiny home

so warm so wooden so quiet

In December


the crispy greying snow

hugs Portland

and cold duck feet slide

on the shiny ice around

the Current, The Elder

and The Fig

Saliha says that as a child she loved her fevers when she was both very large and very small

all at the same time

Fevers bring dreams

and messages I cannot decode

like pomegranates

and white wolves

like lost loves flying out of

open windows

I feel a gentle brush and whisper at my temples


"Someone you love will die"

as the sky cracks

and strands of faraway light

stream through and


my closed damp eyes


I float to where Thunder

the rabbit now lives

touch his shoulders

and we fly

into the speckled night sky

as tears stream down my cheeks and Our Sorrowful Mother's heart

beams eternal love

from the rocks of The Grotto

Katherine A Silva