I’ve been out with a bad cold, so I’ve spent lots of time sitting around thinking (no energy to do much else). One of my favorite things to do at this time of year is sit in our darkened living room with the holiday tree lights on. I inherited some of my mom’s ornaments, so there are decorations on our tree older than I am. It’s fun, because I can look at every item on the tree and remember the story behind it. There’s the bear we bought in Berlin, the two ornaments made by my friend, Lisa, the tin star Mom and her first husband stole off someones tree at a party they went to before they got married . . . things like that.
My mom liked to sit in a darkened room and look at the tree lights, too. I’d get up in the middle of the night and go to the kitchen for a glass of water, and there would be Mom, sitting on the couch smoking a cigarette and staring at the tree. I stopped and sat with her a couple times, but she seemed to prefer being alone to think. I think it was her example that has given me permission to do a lot of introspection at this time of year. It’s almost as if it has created a safe “container” (to use psycho-speak) for me to consider memories and ideas that remain buried through much of the year.
With various nature-based spiritualities, this is also considered a meditative time of year. In the natural cycle of the Northern Hemisphere, much of nature is dying back, shutting down, conserving its strength. There is the idea of the Goddess, pregnant with Sun/Son and about to give birth. Gardners have put their yards and fields “to bed,” and are busy with seed catalogs and plans for activity in the Spring. The nights are longer, and with the cold it is pleasant to sit near a fire (or a heater) and knit or read or watch a holiday movie. In the dark there is more time to think, and to dream. It is a time to go within . . .
Wishing each of you strength, and healing, and warmth. 🙂