I’ve noticed in recent weeks just how far north we have moved because the evenings draw in even earlier than I expected. The shift in seasons is always a weird time because I’m someone who craves daylight and blue skies and nothing makes me happier than long, bright evenings. Indeed, it was what I missed most when I lived in the south of France. I enjoyed the warmth in the summer evenings but it was invariably dark by 8:30 and I used to long for the extra stretch that we get here further north.
It is winter. It’s the season of Samhain [sow – wyn] when the harvest has been gathered, the store houses stocked up and we hunker down in the dark to await the solstice and the turning of the year once again toward the light.
It’s taken me a long time to realise that my body likes being in tune with the seasons and that the winter is the time to slow right down. But, in wanting to keep up with our modern age, instead I push and strive and frantically create work for myself and it always ends in tears.
It is winter and my body, my soul, needs quiet, calm, warmth and nourishment. Now is not the time to hustle and strive, no matter what great strategy is offered that will transform me into a productive and profitable artist. Now is the time to work slowly and methodically on my creative practise, letting go of big expectations and promises of great outcomes.
When I don’t listen to what my body, my soul needs, it takes a toll until eventually my body must shout to be heard. This usually entails a couple of days wiped out and incapacitated and being of no good use to anyone – which is totally contrary to my true desire, which is to be of service to many.
The world says push, my soul says rest. The world says hustle, my soul says be still. The world says share, my soul retreats, recoils even and nestles down into the dark in order to be reignited with fierce grace and energy when the spring comes round again.
Advent is coming, the waiting time. Traditionally, it wasn’t the waiting time for Christmas but the waiting time for fulfilment of all that Christ promised. You can’t be ready for the gift if you’re strung out hustling for it.
It is winter. Time for poetry, log fires, soup, candlelight, gentleness and peace. I hope that you can find some for yourself in the coming weeks.