I’ve been writing and thinking about darkness, and the lack of light, and how the late fall contributes to my own desire to hibernate. But here is a lovely little picture of the fruits of the fall; vegetables at the Boyce Farmer’s Market in early November. The colours are muted, compared to summer vegetables and fruits, but they are still full of good nutrition and of course the pungent onion may help us to remember that we are, in fact, alive…if we can smell and taste and even tear up due to a vegetable!
The darkness is an opportunity. It provides us with a chance to slow down, to listen to the still small voice within, to take stock of our lives and our selves. The holiday season is a last final frantic rush of business before winter; perhaps a way that we try to distract ourselves from the realities of reflection. I used to be so busy that I didn’t have time to think, to stop and ponder, to wonder. I suspect I used to make myself that busy. Of course social expectations support busyness…do you know anyone who says, oh, I’m not that busy…? People find being busy to be a status symbol of some sort. But I think often we want to stay too busy to look at ourselves and look at our lives. We are too busy to feel our feelings, except superficially. We like it that way.
The darkness and the cold draw us toward quiet, toward reflection. Rather than being something to try to escape, perhaps we could see them as opportunities to carefully consider how we are living. Taking some quiet time in the dark days may help illuminate a path for the future, for a way for life to be different or maybe just for US to be different.
Make sure you take some quiet time this solstice season. Don’t let the forced gaiety of the holidays overwhelm your need for time for yourself. Don’t let social expectations flood you so that you can’t feel what you really feel. Just because “everyone” is happy, you don’t have to pretend. And know, too, that everyone is NOT happy. People feel what they feel, and usually that’s a range of feelings.
May the blessings of the season of darkness be yours.