I have noticed the same thing happens for us around this time of year.
We go into hibernation mode.
I used to bookmark an abundance of seasonal crafts and activities imagining all the glitter flecked memories we would make.
But often, it would feel like we were list checking not meaningfully engaging.
The wonderful thing about the internet is the amazing amount of information, ideas and inspiration you can glean from the screen at the click of a mouse.
The terrifying thing about the internet is the amazing amount of information, ideas and inspiration you can glean from the screen at the click of a mouse!
It triggers a dormant type A within that I never knew existed.
I have learnt to trust our natural cycles and rhythms.
Usually they are in alignment with the natural cycles and rhythms of the seasons.
Modern life leaves little space in the margins for life's messy workings out.
With ever increasing work and school hours there is barely enough time for people to recover from the flu, let alone listen to their bodies need for seasonal rest and renewal.
Though seasonal cycles don't always match up with the modern 24/7 lifestyle they are good reminders of our limitations.
If I listen close the signs of the seasons, even this gloomy, rain specked afternoon, I will learn better what my real priorities are.
If I don't heed the whispers of the wild seasons both within and without I can end up ploughing through fields that need to be left fallow if they are to ever yield.
I can find myself pushing through tasks that end up being of little importance to the bigger picture once time gives perspective and retrospective "eyes to see."
As a result I'll only feel out of sync or like I'm trying to play catch up.
Kids will pick up on the discord and begin to squabble.
They will also pick up that downtime or introspection is meaningless.
Thus buying into a materialism that values tangible product above inner process.
But the truth is that the quality of tangible products is always dependent on the inner processes that conceive them.
So we make time for process, however messy or disorganized it may look from the outside.
“We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.”― Rumi
Learning from the source.
Leaves tumble and rustle along curbs and margins.
A small, grey hedgehog waddles beneath rambling bracken, seeking a place in the margins to curl undisturbed.
The leafless trees stand mute in distant fields and along the margins of roads.
I find, also, my own strength (mental, physical, emotional) waning with the ebbing light of the season. Like the hedgehog, I want to find a place to curl, undisturbed.
Taking time to reflect, and filter the extraneous from the truly necessary is so important for me.
Like the trees, I need to shed the curling brittle leaves to make room for new, tender, green ones.
Yet, in today's fast paced world, nature is given the frayed edged margins of life and so is our own human nature.
John Trudell says we are beings first, the human part comes later.
Seasons remind us to honour our being: The part that is connected to the all.
My children know their needs.
There will be a week where one child will study nothing but owls, or astronomy, or stop motion, while yet another will simply potter about, sleep and play.
I am glad they are able to trust themselves.
I am still learning to trust myself.
I still often feel as if someone is looking over my shoulder judging me for simply being me.
I still often feel as if I should be looking for some external validation or justification for my life and the choices I make.
I'm un-learning this conditioned response. I am slowly but certainly learning to trust ever-more in my own placing of my feet upon the ground.
Thankfully my children are patient teachers. They don't mind waiting for me to catch up with them.
"It is no secret. All power is one in source and end I think.
Years and distances, stars and candles, water and wind and wizardry, the craft in a man's hand and the wisdom in a tree's root: they all arise together.
My name, and yours, and the true name of the sun, or a spring of water, or an unborn child, all are syllables of the great word that is very slowly spoken by the shining of the stars.
There is no other power.
No other name."
Extract from "The Earthsea Quartet" Ursula Le Guin