The winter solstice has come and gone, the light is gradually returning and a new year has started. I feel a cultural pressure to usher in the new year with a flurry of activity, revved up with plans and goals.
But I want to hibernate. To heed the call of long nights to rest. To accept snow’s invitation to slow down and move inward.
Take the maple tree in my yard. She is not concerned with human calendars. She has dropped her leaves and slowed her metabolism to survive the winter. When the time comes, she will open her buds into flowers and leaves.
I sit, staring at the dancing flames in the fireplace. I am not thinking profound thoughts. Just watching, mesmerized. This is not a waste of time. Something is forming, percolating, being replenished in the stillness.
Renewal happens beneath the surface, where we cannot see it although we may sense it or have a wordless awareness. Like the ice-covered waterfall a mile down my road. When I pause, I hear the muffled sounds of water flowing below the snow and ice.
I welcome and respect the gifts of a New England winter (even as I complain about daytime highs in the single digits).
Knowing that I am not behind because I have not mapped out the next twelve months, or even this month, and trusting that plans will unfold in their right time.
Knowing rest has its essential restorative place in the rhythm of the year, just as it does in the flow of each day.
Wishing you rest in whatever form appeals to you,