Drawing Inward

At the risk of whining, November is my least favourite month. With the end of daylight saving time the darkness comes much earlier each day. Here in Vancouver, the rainy season is in full swing, and there’s an unmistakeable chill in the air. With Canadian Thanksgiving already over, and Christmas still many weeks off, I’m feeling myself being drawn towards a cold and dark season without any immediate relief on the horizon.

If you look at my online activity, it’s easy to see that I’m drawing inward. My blogging feels lackluster. I’m largely absent on Facebook and Twitter. Even my current favourite, Instagram, is seeing much less activity. I just want to curl up under a blanket somewhere and hibernate until it’s time to deck the halls, hang the lights and fire up the carols three or four weeks from now. I want something bright to distract me from the fact that winter is coming on, and it’s going to get colder and darker before it gets warmer and brighter.

I’m hardly alone in this, I know. Many of my friends say they are feeling the same thing. As the cold days come on, we all want to find a warm place to hide and rest, safe from the storms outside. In another time, we likely would have done just that, more or less, the harvest already having been safely preserved to sustain us through the winter. Since my own work continues rain or shine, all year long, I can’t. But I’m consoling myself by knitting mittens for my children and cutting myself some slack if I’m feeling just slightly less than dazzling.

I thought all my potatoes failed. I was wrong.

And yet, even in the encroaching darkness life provides little bright patches to remind me that all is not so very bleak. For instance, last week as I set about winterizing my garden, I discovered a pleasant surprise. Pulling weeds from my potato patch, where I thought all the plants had failed when they died sometime in July, I found one potato and then another and another. In the end, I had more than two dozen potatoes piled on the grass, offering an unexpected bounty at a time of year when such things are hard to come by.

As the cycle of the year turns, there are dark times. They are not my favourite. Still, I think that maybe we need them. We need time to draw inward and rest. We need the cold and the dark to appreciate the warmth and the light. And we need the reminder that an ending is really just another beginning – an opening for the next thing that will come.

How are you finding hope and light as the darkness deepens?

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  1. I can really recommend getting an open fire. When it’s dark and dismal outside, we just light the fire and suddenly everything is better. I would like to know why that is, maybe a throwback from our genetic memory of times long gone, when making fire was a new found life saving skill.
    Melanie Martin’s last post … InspirationMy Profile

  2. How you feel about November is similar to how I feel about February.

    In New Jersey, November can be a strange month. Yesterday, for example, it was sunny and reached into the lower 70s; so the kids & I played hooky. 🙂
    Of course, then you have today: 40s & rainy. But for the most part, it’s still a get outside & look at nature month.

    The one constant November has going for it is Thanksgiving; it’s not my favorite holiday, but it’s always on a Thursday, and that weekend after is when we put up our Christmas decorations!!

    If nothing else, November has pumkin. Lattes, pie, bread, muffins… I even made pumpkin pancakes yesterday. Hang in there.
    kelly @kellynaturally’s last post … Food for Thought on the Gender BinaryMy Profile

    • I think that Thanksgiving would improve November dramatically. As it is, here in Canada we celebrate Remembrance Day in November. It’s an important holiday, but not exactly a cheery one.

  3. I pretty much have Seasonal Affective Disorder and have dreaded winter ever since moving to the BC Coast (for its grayness) in 1996. I am forever grateful for my friend who told me 10 years ago that she saw fall and winter as her excuse to put her pjs on when she got home from work, for permission to read books, watch movies, take long baths, sit by the fire, hibernate, even decline social engagements (!!), go inward, REST, after the heightened frenzied activity of summer weddings, bbqs, holidays, travel, of spring cleaning, planting etc. It’s not always easy to do that anymore, since having kids means I don’t get as much time to indulge all that. But still, I never forget the lesson I got from her. Everything’s a cycle. We can’t spend every minute in the light. There’s a time and a place for the dark, for the restorative power of winter sleep.
    Alison @ BluebirdMama’s last post … Things I Have Learned From Having More Than One ChildMy Profile

  4. I’m there in the virtual cave with ya.

  5. i could so easily live without seasons, and yes, i do need to periodically draw inward and rest – but I’d rather do that under a beach umbrella 🙂
    Francesca’s last post … Corner View ~ spiritualityMy Profile

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