Those of us in the southern hemisphere are noticing the days becoming gradually shorter and the light change from a white milky brightness to a much softer gold. This weekend, the clocks change also, ending any delusions that I might be trying to hold onto that summer could somehow linger.
In the past, I have found myself to be “seasonally resistant” (I made up that term just now), which basically means I don’t want it to become winter and find myself constantly yearning for summer and sunshine. I’ve noticed a curious thing in myself though in that the more accepting I am of my own seasons- my moods, emotions, experiences- the more accepting I am of the seasons shifting around me. And I’ve decided that my practice is just to let myself “be in winter” and see what comes of it.
I had a “moment” that stuck with me a little while back when talking with someone I was working with. Their horse had recently passed away and they had enlisted the help of an animal communicator to help them make sense of things. They asked them to pass on their apologies for the harsh winters they had been made to endure in their part of the world, and what was communicated back was that it had instead been an honour. To be outside to see the moon rise and the earth move through her cycles.
That hit me in the heartstrings.
I’m not trying to romanticise what I know has its inherently tough moments and I also speak from a place of privilege with warmth and food and shelter- where I can make a choice to engage with the outside world or not. Instead, I’m letting myself be moved by the seasons instead of holding on madly to the previous, warmer version.
I read “Wintering” recently by Katherine May (a truly beautiful book) and she speaks of how the more nature-based traditions have rituals based on the seasons and cycles; and how what this afforded people was “markers” on the calendar that broke the season down into parts and provided mental and emotional comfort in the darker months that the cycles were indeed continuing to move through. It’s prompted me to think of the role of ritual in my own life (I don’t have any formal rituals that spring to mind) and how I could engage in something similar.
What are your thoughts? Do you embrace winter? Or find yourself trudging through?