Becoming celebrated our Dark of Winter rite on Saturday with a ritual of silence and fire to honor the time in between — the moment where the sun seems to stand still at the point between waning and waxing. And while the days may now be getting incrementally longer, we are just now entering the coldest part of the year in these parts — January and February. It almost seems that we stay awake long enough to call back the sun’s return just to hibernate for the next two months just to keep warm. I have also noticed that sunrise has moved from 7:21am to 7:25am in the last week, while sunset has moved 4 minutes later accordingly. While I know intellectually that the days have stopped waning, those four minutes in the morning make a difference in the intensity of darkness when I leave my house at 6:45am. And I miss the sun more in February with its overcast skies looming over the bare trees than I do in the darkness before Winter Solstice.
This year I, who hate being cold, am trying to welcome the cold weather and (hopefully) snow. I know that the land, river, plants, and animals in my part of the world need the rest and renewal that the coldness brings to the entire cycle. I am also trying to accept that, no matter how much I need to do right now, my body is telling me to be quiet, to rest, to lie fallow. Changing my frame of mind from “giving in to the dictates of natures” to “listening to my body with respect” is proving more difficult than actually doing it. But it is in how I perceive the relationships between my body, my upbringing, and the land that changes what I do or don’t do from failure to wisdom.
Not really sure any of this makes sense, but my fingers are cold and my eyelids heavy again. The sun is on its way back to us, but I am ready to hunker down under the blankets for the next two months. Wake me in March.