Appreciating Hibernation and Dormancy
Saturday, January 23rd, 2016
Winter, with its general lack of adornment, can be hard to fully “embrace” at times. In this season, nature shows us her wisdom by discarding everything but the bare essentials. Nature’s process of hibernation and dormancy is astounding because although on the surface it seems that not much is changing, beneath it all the soil is becoming fertile and space is being created for something new.
Nature mirrors to us the opportunity to rest, nurture and rebuild our energy. Sleep is a precious commodity, an important ingredient for wellness and something we focus on when we are sick. That is when our body signals us to slow down and rest.
But rest and hibernation can also be about getting quiet. When we pause – whether it be with a breath, a seated meal or just doing one thing at a time – we give ourselves space to listen and notice the subtle things we are feeling. By embracing “stopping” we see opportunities we would otherwise miss in our rushed daily lives.
This idea of creating pauses in our daily routine is eloquently shared by David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. He offers us the potent seed of change by teaching us that what we learned as children when crossing the street – to “Stop, Look and Go” – are key steps to living a grateful life. He reminds us that by looking and opening our eyes, our nose and all of our senses, we become mindful in the moment. It is in this pause that gratitude can bubble up and joy can be felt. With that intention, we can go and create daily routines that meet our bare essential needs and our core values.