Kamana in Winter

Winter wanderings

The crow’s wings flap intensely. The arc of its vertebrae steepens and then flattens out. Its target, a red-taild hawk, shifts its weight to avoid being mobbed. The crows partner cackles and then takes its turn. The three birds fly to the south to find another location for their game.

It’s winter and the views of my Sit Spot have expanded.

While there are many reasons that Kamana can be more challenging in the winter, there are many positives, too. For one thing, the forest collectively sheds its deciduous leaves allowing your eyes to penetrate that much further into once dark spaces.

Our dominant sense is our eyes and being able to see further expands our awareness. With more visibility comes the chance at seeing more wildlife that dwells farther from our Sit Spots. I know that when I see wildlife it fuels me to go to my Sit Spot even more.

A lot of people ask me if they should take a break from Kamana in the winter or if winter is a good time to start Kamana. There is the rare individual who lives in extreme weather conditions that cannot get beyond 100 feet of their front door in winter due to heavy snowfall. But beyond that, it can be equally empowering to do Kamana in winter.

Part of the intention of the original Kamana program (think all 4 levels condensed into one massive binder) was for students to experience their Sit Spot for 52 weeks consecutively. The reason for this was to experience a close connection to the natural world through all seasons.

Each season has its lessons to teach us. By observing those rhythms externally we are able to feel those rhythms internally.

Another spin is that winter can be a great time to get into solid journaling routines. When it is rainy and 37 degrees I don’t always want to go to my Sit Spot, but I am inspired to crack open a field guide or two.

Winter has its own unique natural mysteries as well. I love watching treebuds swell and change colors. It can be a new challenge to identify trees by their bark and buds. Also, the freezing and thawing of ice can do amazing things to the earth and running water. And there is snow which creates instant excitement. Snow tracking can teach you about who frequents your Sit Spot when you are not there.

I recommend anyone on the fence about starting (or re-starting) Kamana think about it once again.

Wilderness Awareness School