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The Joy of the Winter Months


I was chatting with a friend the other day about the shift that we all take into Winter. She commented on how it had taken longer this year to get there, to that place of acceptance and joy of the Winter months.

I was relieved to hear this as I too have found this year’s winter transition a struggle.

I think the incredibly mild October we had was partly to blame and the last retreat we did mid-November was so warm and I remember thinking I wished I’d packed shorts! But thank goodness as we move into December it has now turned cold. 

I have enjoyed lighting the fire, getting out my woolly jumper and thick socks, reading more, and just generally feeling wintery. But one of the greatest joys I have about winter is the night sky.

I used to hate the darkness and don’t get me wrong, some days when I am home indoors with the children and bathing them at 4.30 pm just for something to do, I wish there was more sunshine. But oh, how we appreciate that light when the spring comes around. Obviously, in the summer we don’t get that lovely feeling of darkness. We don’t see as many sunrises and sunsets either, but the winter sky delivers on so many levels.

One of my coping techniques to navigate an evening where I might be feeling overwhelmed is to simply step outside into the garden and look up. I will have invariably gotten overheated from raised tension with the children, so stepping out into the cold calms both my mind and body. I have myself a little sensory moment of witnessing the cool breeze against my skin. Even if it’s raining, I might stand out for a minute and feel the rain on my skin. For me though the best bit is what my eyes take in. The night sky. Just looking up with complete awe. I live in an urban area so it’s not always very starry but there is always something to see, the clouds with the moon gleaming behind, or the moon itself shining bright with a halo of light. Seeing space stops me in my tracks and makes me realise how small I am in this universe and how insignificant my worries are. It makes me mentally stop and pause, realising that none of the stress matters, the job, the work strain, the family and motherhood pressure, none of it really matters.

As the beautiful poet Rupi Kaur has said “nothing even matters except love and human connection, who you loved and how deeply you loved them, how deeply you touched the people around you and how much you gave them”.

So, this Christmas when you might be feeling physically trapped indoors, overwhelmed or frustrated emotionally, pop a cosy coat on, make a warm drink, step outside and look up in awe. Breathe, feel, be curious as to what comes up, and know that whatever you are feeling know you are not alone. And as you begin to feel in awe of the night sky, be in awe of yourself and all that you are capable of, as you too are a miracle.

Wishing you all a very festive December. I hope it’s filled with beautiful times spent with family and friends. Wrap up, walk, laugh, and of course LOVE.

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