There's something about December.
I've long resisted it. The depth of night . . . the buzzing of the holidays . . . the overabundance of delicious and bad-for-you things in all the places.
I used to say that this was my least favorite time of the year. And that was before my baby was stillborn days before Thanksgiving.
But this year feels different.
Maybe it's that I'm resting with the hibernating earth, staying away from the manic hustle and bustle of holiday to-do lists and presents and unnecessary obligations. Maybe it's that I'm doing the holidays my way, perhaps for the first time, and choosing only what is nourishing and enlightening for my spirit. I feel like I'm wrapped up in a cloak of star-marked night, breathing in time with the bears sleeping winter away in their mountain dens.
Maybe it's that I'm pregnant -- a time that always makes me feel more visceral, more embodied, more sexy and sacred. Maybe it's my body waxing around the seed of life in the darkness within that makes me appreciate this time of thick, cold night.
Or maybe it's that it's my fearless year (just for a little while longer now), and I'm reaping the benefits of challenging myself to find treasures in winter's darkness. That I'm learning to not run from the dark, but slowly turn my face toward it and invite it in for tea.
This year is different.
I hope next year is different in the same kind of way, too, more and more different-in-a-needed-way, as I learn to trust this soul of mine, and the feeling coursing through my marrow.
I hope I never forget to honor these long, dark nights.
I believe in the night, when dreams run free across the stilled landscape. When the moon wanes and waxes and wanes above, her eternal dance that tells us so much about ourselves. When the stars play behind the wandering clouds, and all the earth is a question. When I teach myself again and again, and sometimes learn, to surrender to myself, to this body, to rest. When slumber makes us children again for a time, trusting in what is, if only for this night.
I nestle into December's darkness and try to heed the quiet throb of my own heart's pace.
"You, darkness, of whom I am born–
I love you more that the flame
that limits the world
to the circle it illuminates
and excludes all the rest.
But the dark embraces everything:
shapes and shadows, creatures and me,
people, nations–just as they are.
It let’s me imagine
a great presence stirring beside me.
I believe in the night."- Rainer Maria Rilke, from Rilke's Book of Hours*
Your turn: how is your December different this year? Is it a welcome kind of different, or something less desirable? How would you like it to be different next year? Let your thoughts wander over how you can make December 2015 a good-different for yourself.