In early December, we are still in autumn but the season has quieted, its brilliance subsided, and night has been dominant for weeks.
This time can be a difficult stretch: internally, we may find ourselves feeling depressed, depleted; we sink into the darkness the way a footprint sinks into the snow, caught there initially, then melding to it, gradually becoming more amorphous as wind and weather and time have their way with the snow’s changing surface.
We wonder if we could even disappear ….
Additionally, the external world may be crazy-making as well. It’s likely you celebrate some flavor of winter holiday, the preparations for which are consuming, never mind trying to manage the expectations of others, create happiness for them, and grapple with your own.
And all the while the illusion of disappointment may always be just over there, on the periphery, spreading its malaise. And while daylight shrinks, the weather grows colder, and mostly what you notice about time is how much of it is spent in darkness… irritating your drive to rush through your daylight to-dos and prepare to do battle against more darkening days ahead.
Yet, instead of fighting your way through the internal and external darkness, there’s a much better way to approach things!
Darkness has great power when we recognize it as a precondition of hope, of potential, of discovery.
And Light is what follows after.
The things hidden in the dark that await our unearthing of them, are often treasures… nuggets of knowing, clarity, and wisdom.
The stillness of this season is the stillness of necessary darkness. This necessary darkness – inner and outer – is what needs to surround us to germinate or gestate not only ideas, but to serve as an incubator growing the imagination of who it is you will become in the world…..
(Any creative person will confirm the considerable time ideas spend in their head prior to their translation onto the page or the canvas.)
Necessary darkness is the space your future self needs in order to be born out of your current self.
In the quiet of the frozen Earth beneath us potential life teems, in root and seed and spore. And it is the dark warmth of the womb in which new life is patiently, gradually, readied to be brought into the world.
Into new light!
If we are haunted by our pasts, this darkness can be a static thing, trapping us there.
But if we let it, darkness can be a cauldron where we affirmatively transform that past–regrets, old hurts, the things we miss–into material that will be useful for us once we awake into the light again. And we will do exactly that.
But first, we are required to find a way to sit with the darkness, to learn to not fear it but to be glad of the gifts that it can offer.
If you are someone who gets irritated at how early others insist on starting the holiday season, you are someone who recognizes that the dark time of the year needs to be allowed to be dark.
If, on the other hand, you are someone who is putting up her Christmas tree before the Halloween decorations have been taken down, you might want to explore what it is in that darkness you are afraid of, why you need to prematurely chase it away with the light. The light that is going to come along anyway, in its own due course, whether or not you do anything to encourage it….
Even with to-do lists and family obligations and demanding work, the best way to be in this season is to be inactive.
This may not come easily! You might find it difficult to give yourself permission to be still and quiet, yet this is a way of tending to your own needs and even helping to clarify for yourself what those needs are.
So find a few moments every day to connect with your still self, feel it there within you, like a protected seed, all wrapped in potential.
Remember and know that small seed is always there, and sometimes through the short days and the long nights you will find your thoughts returning to it… a beacon of patience and peace that will soon awaken to its higher octave, and materialize to express her soulful self.