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Mirroring Nature Rather than Culture


My meditation space...

Winter solstice has become a topic of deep interest for me lately. This time of year is marked by super short light and very long dark. In the past I have resisted this dark season with its accompanying cold. I wanted to live somewhere else where the sun would shine year round. No winter. Flip flops every day. The grass looked much greener in places far from where I was living. These past years of living on this land and beginning my love affair with gardening, I have been observing nature at work. This observation has evolved my wishful thinking of chasing light elsewhere. I am *beginning* to see things in a new way. The garden has been put to bed. Everything is quiet out there, covered with leaves and sometimes snow, dormant for now. As Kate Northrup calls it, "the fertile void..." There seems to be an on purpose stopping of the hive of activity that is prevalent in other seasons. A very necessary resting time so that when the light and warmth return, growth can and will explode forth. I love this. A necessary time of rest. The picture above is of what sits near my meditation cushion during this winter season. It is a tangible reminder of the beauty of this season and more importantly to remember how nature does winter. When I walk by this solstice bouquet, I am reminded that I am well served to do the same. Slow down. Find quiet. Go inward. Be still. Sleep deeply… And yet, the culture around me speeds up to an even more frantic pace with the holiday season happening during this "fertile void" : social engagements, shopping, decorating, baking, making, wrapping, doing…  In past seasons, I followed the holiday season pace until I inevitably wound up in bed recovering from bronchitis many years, pneumonia another year, extreme fatigue yet another year.


Since living here on this little piece of land, little by slowly, I have begun mirroring nature rather than culture. I am slowing down. Going to bed early… Gazing at fires or candlelight with a great book or movie or journal or a cup of homegrown tea. I practice yoga with loved ones by the fire. I sip my home brewed cranberry kombucha with my daughters. I do my best to stay as far away from the mall as possible. Christmas eve and day was spent up at the ski hill out in nature with immediate family. New Years Day found me spending the first day of 2019 surfing on the West Coast of Vancouver Island with my family... Small and manageable. Nature everyday. It works for me. I come away from winter not wishing to escape but feeling rested, quiet, and grateful for the extra reading, writing and snoozing time… I save my socializing for seasons when my energy is bigger, longer, stronger with the light as found in spring, summer…  This works for me now. Following the wisdom and rhythm of nature is medicine for the body and soul. It regenerates me for what is to come as the light returns to our days... 

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