December Musings

Does the arrival of December ever feel a little contradictory or confusing to you? Sometime it feels like a series of mixed messages to me; excitement about Christmas and the Holiday Season, lots of gatherings and celebrations, the festival of lights, and yet I also feel the need for quiet and reflection at this time of year: to reflect on the 12 months that stretched out ahead of us back in January; to reflect on the winter solstice and the natural world’s tuning inward at this time of year.

I feel the desire to pause and reflect on what is going on in my life; my year and to spend some time thinking about my hopes and dreams for the coming year. What would I like to have seen, experienced and done by this time next year? Have I tended sufficiently to my own needs and self care this past year? Are there things I can and perhaps need to do this coming year to take better care of myself, in body, mind and spirit, so that I can be in service to what I need and want to do?

In nature, as winter comes, everything slows down and turns inward. It is a period of deep rest but also of germination; gathering the strength and the nourishment needed for the next cycle of growth that will come again when the world warms up in the spring. Perhaps this is a metaphor that is useful for us; perhaps we too, should take time once winter comes, to rest and restore.

And simultaneously with these reflections comes the excitement and the desire to celebrate; to gather with friends and family, to enjoy good food, music and company; to spend time together. It can be a joyous season, yet it can also be a difficult and challenging for those among us who are alone or without.

It seems to me that the world is full of opposites and that we are constantly being challenged to hold the simultaneous realities of opposites as true; the joy and the sadness; the anticipation and the reflection, the birth and death. It is part of what makes this life so amazing: so beautiful and so challenging.

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