As I sit to write this (again on a bed! My usual space for inspiration!!), it is 08.05 am and it is still pitch dark outside. I know the light will return soon. But when I take note of it being so late in to the morning and it still being so dark, I realise that nature is really giving us a big, bold sign that we should be hibernating a little bit more around this time.
Especially today, the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. The solstice is not some imaginary notion concocted by pagans of yester-year. Those clever beings realised that it is a scientific concept, linked with the rotation of the earth around the sun. They also realised that most of nature surrounding them took a break: the leaves fell away, and many animals hibernated. This particular day was the pinnacle of this rest, the least amount of sunlight and the most amount of dark you’ll have in any day of the year. It’s a stripping back, in many ways. Back to basics, returning to Earth.
So maybe, in this modern era, you can honour yourself, and that idea of rest and returning to earth, by slowing down just a little today. I know you probably have a day’s work ahead of you, and I know Christmas is a matter of days away. But when your working day is done, maybe consider squeezing one nourishing activity for yourself; whether it be stopping for a 20 minute meditation, saying no to a social obligation that you’re not really feeling up to tonight, or even just sitting in your own personal quiet with a cup of coffee during a late night Christmas shopping dash.
The solstice also reminds us that because today is the earth’s darkest day, from tomorrow onwards, it will only get brighter. It marks the beginning of the gradual return of the light. So if you’re feeling tired and rundown today, and like there aren’t enough hours in the day, remember the cues around you in nature. Rest a little more and keep in mind that brighter days are coming!