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WINTERING



It’s February

I feel the dreary winter weather creep into my bones. The chill is unpleasant, unwelcome. I notice how my energy flags. I feel my mood begin to dampen and drag. Around me the bare branches depress me.

I don’t want to do…anything.

Even the thought of curling up with a book or taking a nap (i.e., doing nothing) is unappealing to me. My recent vacation that was so exciting and interesting seems like it happened on another planet a long time ago. I have returned to routines that are hard to remember and that seem as tired as I feel.

Shifting Focus

And then I remember. It’s winter! The time when everything in nature slows and folds in on itself. It sleeps. It rests. It shifts its focus from outside to inside The energy in nature hunkers down to survive the harsh weather and darkness. But nature doesn’t just survive winter, it uses this time to renew, getting ready for the next cycle of productivity that will surely come.

Nature as Teacher

When I let nature remind me, when I let her teach me, it’s easier to accept my own slowness and darkness. I can see once again why I have routines. My routine of sitting in meditation (now in candlelight). The brisk walks uphill that get my heart pumping and my energy unstuck. Today, I let myself notice how good it feels to walk, even in the rain.

Be here, now

Somehow, when I am open to what Nature is showing me, it matters less that the sky is grey, and darkness comes early. The crisp, chilly air encourages me to be present. To be here. Just, here. To appreciate the slowness, the sleepiness, the low energy. A tiny break in the clouds and the tiny sprout of green in a flower bed that is otherwise asleep reminds me – this darkness is only temporary. It’s not forever. It’s just ‘for now’.

Meeting Needs

’Rest’, both my body and nature tell me. Settle in. Enjoy what is here. Commit to the routines you know give you structure. To the routines that help you nourish an inner calm. Do what gives you a sense of wellbeing. This is the season to contemplate. To rest. Maybe to plan or dream, but for sure it is the season to care for yourself.

So, be gentle as you plug in that SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) light, as you light those candles, turn on more lamps, shake out the cozy blankets and pull on thermal long johns. Get outside and let winter remind you of the goodness that it is growing deep inside ...of everything! Use the slower pace to take the time to nourish yourself with music, a forgotten hobby, a good book. Take out that colouring book, try a new recipe. Reach out to a friend.


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