Hibernation…a call to restoration and slow peace

All around us, nature is slowing down, if not coming to a complete halt.  Though it may be hard to remember here in sunny California, all over the world, animals are retreating to their sleepy dens to wait the winter out.  And those animals who don’t hibernate, often slow down in some way, like my hens who refuse to lay eggs every other day as they did before, preferring to make the effort only every three days or so (if that, as any chicken owner can tell you).

The past few months have brought our family a broad array of challenges.  At first I got busy, trying to figure them out, fix them, and overcome them, but then something happened.  My grandmother in law Lois, who we have had in our home for the past four months, was placed in a homecare setting that better met her needs.  Once she was no longer in our home, and I was no longer juggling her high needs with my children’s, I realized how exhausted I was, and had been, but had been pushing through it, doing my best to keep it all together.

Although placing her was not my decision and I was sad to see her go, I immediately realized that I had been overextended and needed some time to recoup.  I have been silent here on this blog for a while for that reason…I’ve been taking some time to join my wintering brothers and sisters, and allow the sweet rest of hibernation to restore my soul like nothing else can.

Of course, I have still been busy as a mother, counselor, wife, daughter, friend, moving through the daily motions of life.  I have not had a week off, let alone a day off, to “hibernate” (although I am still making plans for this), the difference has simply been in my intention.

I have set the intention to consciously carve out more time for simple rest and reflection, to be the mother bear that I am and declare my wintering respite.  For example, although I moved through the holidays with family, I did it slowly and simply.  I allowed myself to go to sleep at 8pm to the cave of my bed, even when others were up socializing.

In the spirit of hibernation, I am only doing what I have energy for and following my wintry cravings of good books, writing, soup, and did I mention, sleep.  There is simply something healing about stopping at dusk, when the earth naturally calls us to slow down, and finding that all those things I used to think could not wait, actually can.

And in fact, when I address them in the morning, my response and efforts are always fresher and more inspired.  We move so quickly in this life, it always simply feels good to return to a human pace.   Holding space for hibernation in my life, helps me remember  and implement this age old truth.

Setting my intention to hibernate has also fostered a sense of surrender and allowing. Instead of trying to figure everything out, which was exhausting me, I am resting and restoring, with trust that all will be clearer in the end.  I trust this rhythm and wisdom of nature, and I am already seeing the benefits.

In this society that calls us to move way too fast in, in many different directions, I say be a counterculture revolutionary and return to what your being craves this season, restoration and slow peace.

From my cave to yours,


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