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Sometimes it seems as if winter quotes make winter out to be a necessary evil which exists only for us to appreciate the subsequent warmth. Shelley: "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" Shakespeare: "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York." Hugo: "Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."

But winter is far more than a down against which to compare the subsequent ups. Winter is a powerful, magical time. It is a season of strength. Of looking inward and finding focus. Bob Seger stated, "I write probably 80 percent of my stuff over the winter." Terri Guillemets reminds us, "The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination." The Winter Solstice is a time to embrace the mysterious. The endless possibilities. The sense that we already have, within ourselves, boundless creativity and opportunity. We simply have to still ourselves and listen.

In artwork, Mark reminds us again of just how stunning the tiniest of creatures can be. Slowing down and becoming mindful of the life around us allows us to treasure every aspect of nature. Kim's cat highlights how precious our smaller family members can be.

For poetry, Chani presents an unusual take on the seasons. Rather than summer fields slumbering under a layer of white snow, she envisions a humid August afternoon where it's frost which is lurking, waiting, knowing its chance to thrive is coming soon. Craig treasures the joy that comes with swirling snowflakes.

In fiction, Carol follows a woman from the warmth of Hawaii to the chill mountains of Vermont, where women celebrate the beauty of life in a swaying, traditional dance. Rosanne creates a scene with Christmas Eve representing a fresh start.

Non-fiction is always our most poignant. Candice shares her work with prison inmates - truly a place of self-investigation and introspection if ever there was one. James relays the story of a survivor of the Fukuyama bombing in WWII. The boy's family heeded the warnings of the US Air Force and fled long before the attack. They were safely in a rural farming village by the time the bombs fell.

Winter is a powerful season. It gives us that space to look back and learn from our history. To look forward and envision what we wish to become. To be fully mindful of the present and be aware how each day has potential for us to speak out and impact the way our world proceeds. To move us toward peace, fulfillment, and an appreciation of what each of us has to offer.

Happy Winter Solstice.

Read the Winter Solstice Issue of MUSED

Please read through the following pages if you are interested in submitting content for the coming issue. We look forward to hearing from you!

Start preparing now for the 2017 BellaOnline Ebook Awards:
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Deadline for the Spring Equinox 2017 Issue of Mused is February 13, 2017.

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