Breathing in the Stillness of Winter

Breathing in the Stillness of Winter

I’ve spent the past few days up in Mt. Shasta, CA. Mt. Shasta is the second-largest mountain in California at a little over 14,000 feet tall. It has glaciers at the top, so there is some snow all year long. This past week, however, the town got about five feet of snow, so the mountain was covered in a glorious mantle of snow that made it shimmer in the sun.

Mt. Shasta has been viewed as a sacred mountain to the Native Americans for generations. Each year, Native Americans would – and still do – trek to the mountain and hold ceremonies on sacred grounds and alpine meadows. It’s easy to understand why: beyond it’s beauty, there is also a tranquility and positive energy surrounding the mountain.

Usually, I visit Mt. Shasta in the summertime. The last time I was there in the winter was at least 7 or 8 years ago. As my friends and I drove up the mountain, I realized that I had forgotten the beauty and stillness of winter and its snowfall.


We couldn’t go too far up the mountain – the snow was much higher than the five feet of snow the town received, and the road was completely closed. We went as far as we could, and then got out and walked. Snow was coming down around us, and the evergreen forest was silent and hushed. The only sound was the sound of the snow squeaking under our feet.

I found myself slowing down and breathing in the stillness of the winter. There’s something about snow that feels purifying. I lifted my face up to the snowflakes and let them lightly land on me, doing their purification magic. I could feel a peacefulness wash over me and permeate my being. I quietly thanked the mountain and snow for its gift and continued on my way.


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