The holidays, like many things in modern life, have a slippery, ungraspable quality about them. This time of year we seem frantic to capture memory and future and hope all rolled into a single pumpkin wheel.
I just want to take a breath from the frenzy and consider what winter has to offer us.
In a recent NY Times article entitled "Why We Need Winter," author Clark Strand speaks of the nonstop grind which electricity allows us.
“In the modern world, petroleum may drive our engines but our consciousness is driven by light. And what it drives us to is excess, in every imaginable form.”
We sometimes forget we are natural creatures with natural rhythms. As a society, we've outsmarted even ourselves, creating tools and means to work faster and harder and more. Just generally MORE.
And yet, all of this progress stands in the face a fact we like to ignore: we are limited, natural beings.
In writing this, I want to ask you are you tired? Are you worn out? From the season? From the year? Winter is a time for restoration. In its darkness (winter solstice is the longest night of the year), it offers us sleep and respite. In its deadness, we find our own opportunity to shed what has become too much.
As needed we, too, can curl into ourselves like these leaves and reassess what is being asked of us: Is this too much? Do I still want this? What would feel good to let go?
Can we see our prickly-ness for what it is?
Can we slow down enough to find joy and silliness? To find the faces in the rocks?
Can we find vibrance that gets ignored during other seasons?
I hope we all get what we’re aiming for this season — a reaffirmed sense of place in our tribes; laughter and warmth; reassurance that we do, in fact, matter to the people around us.