A friend recently called this time of year “hibernation” season. She mentioned that whenever she feels gloomy, overwhelmed with work, or has lengthy lists without the energy to attack them, she reminds herself of the season, makes a cup of hot, steaming tea, and bundles up under a blanket and becomes still for a while.
As of today, we have had over two weeks in a row without sunshine. In mid-winter with its short days, a reminder to take the time of rest is good. Our ancestors went to bed earlier on February nights, slept longer, slowed down. Without electricity to extend the day, bedtime beckoned with the setting of the sun. We heeded the season’s call to rest, restore and slow down. These dark, cold nights were used to dream of the coming spring, plan gardens in our dreams with seeds saved after last year’s harvest, anticipating the warmer weather ahead.
But in February last year, Russia invaded Ukraine. The conflict, predicted to end shortly, has dragged on, even as the Ukraine people set example after example of how to endure such hostilities, and their leader models hope and sincere love of country. And over forty people died in our recent snowstorm and a disproportionate number of lives lost were people of color.
Life is precious, isn’t it? Even on the dark days, even on the cold days, even on the days when we say goodbye to ones gone too soon. But we are together, here, right now, and have one another to give comfort in these grey, overcast days. When the hibernating mood hits you this winter, invite a friend over to share the mood, put on the teakettle and ponder the warmth ahead. It’s not far away!