As I am writing this, the Cape has been subjected to freezing (literally: the streets are WHITE with hail) rains, and winds are blowing trees down as we speak. I am one of the lucky ones (and I hope you are too) who is warm and cosy. And I love winter. I love the wild weather. I love the cozy fires and mugs of cocoa and thick glasses of gluwein. I love the boots and flowing coats and hats and scarves. I am genuinely sorry for Durbanites who have balmy weather all year round and no need for a fireplace or a winter wardrobe. But apart from all the fashion statements and cozy moments, winter is also a time to take stock, to turn your energy inward, and, like a daffodil, do your growing underground for a time, until it’s time to send shoots out into the world, come next spring.
In spring and summer time, we are busy doing stuff: the days are longer, it feels wicked to watch TV or be indoors when the sun is shining (and so it IS!) and we’re having braais and going to the beach and just generally being full of busyness. But maybe we should listen to the seasons just as nature does and learn to hibernate a bit. Get still and quiet and rested.
Now is not the time for action; it is the time for contemplation and resting. Watch that movie you’ve been meaning to see, catch up on all the episodes of Game of Thrones, read to your heart’s content, and write in that journal of yours that’s been forgotten about while you were too busy having a jol in summer.
And sleep. Because when you sleep you dream, and dreams will help to lead you to the life your True Self longs for and knows is right – if you will listen. Because it’s only when we’re quiet that we can hear the voice of our True Selves (or The Universe, or God, or whatever you want to call what we know to be The Truth).
Winter is the time to think about what we’ve done and who we are and what we want to accomplish in the coming spring.
I love Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, which teaches the reader to discover and recover their creative self. And the most important tool she uses to help struggling creatives is what she calls Morning Pages. Every morning for the twelve weeks it will take you to work your way through the book, you are required to fill three A4 pages with writing. You can write about anything and everything. And because you have to do it every single day, it becomes a meditation and a way to learn about yourself and what you want out of life. I challenge you to do the same for a period of time (how about the whole of winter?). Buy yourself a beautiful journal, or cover an exercise book in pictures that inspire you and make you happy, and write every morning for three pages and see what comes up.
I promise you, you will know more about yourself, and your life – that is the beauty of introspection. And your winter will be a season of deep, underground growth. And that’s the kind that brings the shiny, yellow daffodils of happiness and purpose, come springtime.