Monday, November 11, 2013

Changing seasons – Into the dark

More & more, I appreciate the change of the seasons. And after a slow start, fall is here in full glory. The leaves are a rainbow of colors, the air is crisp, & the days are shorter. I find that shorter days encourage nesting or hibernating type activities. After the long, hot summer, the fall is a welcome respite. And the coming winter is a chance to re-center & look within. A chance to rest.

I generally start the dark season with an epic cleaning fest that puts spring cleaning to shame. We are talking a wash the walls, scrub the baseboards type cleaning. I see fall as my last chance to get the house open & clean before winter keeps us indoors. So I take full advantage.

Once the deep cleaning is done, I situate the house plants to soak up the best winter sun, batten down the hatches, & settle in. I set candles out in force, dig out my books & “sitting” crafts (crochet, sewing, etc), & strategically place blankets for easy snuggle time reach.

As odd as it sounds, I also “turn down” the lights. I avoid harsh or bright overhead lights & favor somewhat dimmer task lighting. Artificial lighting doesn’t offer any of the benefits of natural lighting anyway. This allows me to tune into the seasonal changes more. I soak in the daylight that is available & then quiet my body & mind when it gets dark. Aahh, sweet rest.

I use the extended dark hours to not only rest, but to take stock of my life, home, body, mind, & heart. An extended resolutions period, if you will. When we aren’t distracted by outside activities, it is easier to find the time & energy for introspection. I look at what I’ve accomplished & what I still want to do. Sometimes I revise the to-do list – adding & subtracting what suits or doesn’t. I look at what I’ve brought in & what I have removed. This counts for physical items as well as intangible. I evaluate & adjust – maybe something should be brought back in, maybe something else should be removed.

I spend the winter determining any changes, acting on the insights, & repeating. Some efforts are for the short term, others are for the long haul. By the time spring rolls around, I will have refocused, rested, and be ready to rock another summer.

Some parting thoughts:

The air is getting cool,
The world is getting dark,
Now is the time to look within,
Search your soul & tend your heart.

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