So, last night, driving back from the spa (yes, I have added a bi-monthly spa afternoon to my life recently, more about that later), it was late afternoon, early evening. The sun was setting far away behind so many clouds and its last remaining rays were playing hide and seek. The fog was descending over the valleys and trees of south-western France where I live (lucky, yeah, I know!) and the cold wet air was reminding us that winter… has come.
It got me thinking about our Ancestors.
I personally do not originate from this area. But I believe what I’m going to say is true for most of us, wherever we come from (except maybe people from the tropical areas of the planet).
There is a moment, at that time of the day, at that time of the year, when the fundamental energy is so raw, so vulnerable.
It’s about the darkness coming. About the cold, dark night settling down to stay. About the urgency of fire, the necessity for light, the imperative call of community.
Let’s imagine our Ancestors, in those caves.
At that time of the year, their safeguard, their protection rested in three things: shelter, heat and community.
Alone, in the wild, in the dark and cold winter, one would surely starve or die, at the mercy of the elements, nature and wild animals.
I happen to live in the wild. Or almost. Our house stands in the middle of the countryside, no other houses to be seen. The village we belong to is 5 km away and has 49 inhabitants.
Today, that is a possibility. With electricity and modern heating, with the Internet, it is possible to live in such a remote place.
There are challenges though and invitations to review our certitudes and beliefs.
Last week, for some unknown reason, we lost power for 10 hours. No light. (heat was ok, because the fireplace is the only heating device we have). In the semi darkness of a foggy day, computers and phones off or off line, we had to find other ways to work, to entertain ourselves.
Again I thought about our Ancestors.
The courage, the faith, they needed to muster every year at that time to remain confident that this too was going to pass.
The co-dependence they had to accept.
Today we can pretend we are independent and free from others’. Or are we ?
Yesterday, when hubby turned off the car lights as we arrived home, when the descending light was barely enough to see in the gloomy crepuscule, when the silence was deafening, I thought about our Ancestors again.
Their fear. Primal fear for survival.
And I remembered a good friend of mine, coming for a weekend visit early in December and literally freaking out. She was simply unable to cope with the isolation, the darkness, the cold, the absence of street lights, the night time silence, the possibility of a wild animal (boar, fox or deer) appearing in front of our house. She felt in constant danger.
I live here. I have lived here for over 20 years.
In the summer, it’s lovely, warm, luminous and very busy with insects, butterflies and fairies. Nature showing her bountiful, abundant generous disposition in flowers, fruits, vegetables, playful rabbits and singing birds everywhere.
In the winter, it’s like another planet.
Dark, cold, foggy, muddy, deserted and silent except for the raucous cries of crows and ravens.
The condition for living here happily is simple: we have to live in the now.
There is no way to avoid winter. We can’t just get lost in the Christmas decorated glittering town centres or rush to a heated mall, we can’t fend off the cold and darkness with air conditioning and glittering neon lights. We can’t pretend. Winter is winter.
A little bit like our Ancestors. (no, I’m not seriously comparing, we have the internet!!)
They, like us, had no choice but to enter the darkness, the cold and the fog. And stay there.
Cuddling around the fires, hugging each other tighter to keep warm and feel safe, cooking and eating together, sleeping together and retreating from the outside world as much as possible, creating a warm, bright bubble of codependency, trust and support.
I like that. I like this time of year when I have to face inwards and make my inner fire glow brighter and brighter to keep me warm and illuminated (pun intended).
I like that there is no hiding. I like the silence and reflection time. I like the absence of choice.
It’s part of my basic routine of self-care.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I love travelling.
I could go and spend my winters in some tropical paradise.
But I chose to be in the here and now. And to embrace winter as a self-care practice.
Meeting with the Archetype of the Crone in her dark cave and meditating.
Allowing Grandmother Gaia to cradle me and lull me to rest and sleep.
Of coursen that doesn’t mean that I give up community and festive gatherings. On the contrary.
It took me years to renounce the winter hustle. (hence the bi-monthly spa, remember!)
To help myself, I created an oracle deck of Self-care. It is based on the 8 Greek Goddesses Archetypes I work with. It encompasses Self-care on various levels and in various ways.
I recently decided to publish that oracle deck.
It’s not ready though. So I thought I’d give you a preview this December. To get a daily self-care inspiration, follow me on Socials or find a daily window too open here: https://calendar.myadvent.net/?id=y3x6sge5htzbmn5xxmopxz01fckyl8ha
And let me know what you think!
Are you a winter aficionado or a summer lover exclusively?
I would be so happy to hear from you about all that. Thank you in advance for your comment.
So much for today ...
See you soon, for my next online adventures!
Until then I send you love, light and gratitude.