“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.”
And just like that we turn the corner and spring is in view. The yard is full of birds and tiny shoots of perennials, their hibernation underground complete. Mine too. . .
I come into this season full of myself. Meaning, I settled so many of the battles I fought from within over the dark months of winter. I find myself emerging into this new season comfortable and yet motivated. Comfortable within my own skin and motivated to let myself shine.
I make a list of things that seem to nourish my soul, taking everyone else out of the equation.
1. Being alone in the quiet of the early morning, making my latte in the muted natural light of our kitchen.
2. My rowing class. The idea that I really like doing something this physical pleases me and shows me a side of myself that surprises me a little. I walk out sweaty and full of energy, nourished in a way that is new to me.
3. Gardening. I started gardening the year we were married and I am still at it. It is such a part of who I am that I would not feel whole without dirt under my nails.
4. Writing. I have tired all shapes and forms and understand now sometimes a sticky note is as important as a long essay.
5. Meditation. Of all the paths I explored to get myself back to me, meditating is the one I hold on to. Sometimes it is just three deep breaths, sometimes it is an hour.
6. Letting go of judgement. Both towards others and myself. Also, leaning to just be true to myself and let others judge if they must and not to take it personal.
7. long walks, snuggling with the dog, day trips with my husband, fancy cocktails with my kids, watching birds at the feeders, laughing at the squirrels, bodies of water, the sound of a train whistle at night, swimming in deep clear water, ferry rides, a good book, making bread, stretching after a class at the gym, bookshops, Mary Oliver's poetry, picking wild blackberries, tiny bouquets, gathering treasures on my walks, sunrises and sunsets, dinner from the garden, the smell of lilacs, a heard of elk, good music, a good movie, a field of lupin, easy conversations, honesty, equality, compassion, empathy, and love.
8. My camera. It dawns on me that I have spent years trying too hard. Years looking for my real passion, my style my focus. I read too much about what makes a good photo, and I compare my work to others. I question my creativity and the reason why I do it. I am often not sure where to share and wonder why I want to. And yet, when I cull through my archives I see it so clearly, I shoot what nourishes me. My camera brings all of these things on my list to the forefront and enriches that nourishment. The entire process brings me nothing but joy. And sharing it with other via this blog, or social media is a something I enjoy doing. Following others, for all sorts of reasons, is inspiring and rewarding.
I look at that list and see that much of it has a nostalgia feel to it. Moments of true happiness from my childhood and my early life shine through. I know where I lost myself. I understand the reasons and can identify the causes of the pain. And this helps for sure. But what really brings me out of this long hibernation is that I can also identify moments this past winter, where I had ah-ha resolutions and turned a corner. When I left something I was trying on behind because as much as I wanted it to work, it wasn't. When I stopped trying so hard and begin to like myself again, to not lay blame and to not hold on so tight to my mistakes I started to slowly feel myself slipping back gently, into me. I opened my heart and my arms and allowed myself to be loved. I let go and moved forward. Different and yet the same, happy and content and strong.
is spring showing her face yet in your corner of the world?