Our energy is low during these dark December days, and getting through each day can feel like trudging, moving through cold mud. We forget that we are animals and that now is the time for rest. We push on, attempting to use our minds and strain to resist what is naturally moving us in alignment with the earth — the primal signals from our animal bodies.
We often experience ourselves from the outside in rather than the inside out. Comparing and evaluating, we tally the “should’s,” chasing, hurrying, and pursuing them rather than attuning ourselves to honoring how we feel. We blame ourselves for our inadequacies and deficiencies and quietly collapse in shame and self-doubt, becoming less productive than if we had only rested in honor of the season. And so we find ourselves suffering, depleted, and sad.
We may want to escape this slowness and stillness we feel because it offers a spaciousness that is a stranger to us. The grief we’ve stored rises quickly in the initial moments of quiet, and the darkness becomes haunting. We may not want to feel or remember or open. The fear we prefer to call anxiety or stress propels us forward and keeps us clenched in reaction, draining our life force, our ease, and our peace. Our reasons to rush abound, as they always will, disconnecting us from our most primal source. Mother Earth.
Winter wants something different for us, offering us the deepest dark and the welcoming of the return of the light, the shortest days, and the longest nights. The descent and inward deepening can make us feel like we are going mad in our containment, but the Winter season wants us to go deeper still. Deep into the void of the dark moon and the empty womb, through the layers of aloneness until we hear the voices of our ancestors vibrating through the cold ground, and it feels like a relief, a dream, a promise — it is.
Winter is a promise. It asks of us, for us. And it carries us through, always, if we let it.