With my husband away for a month, I spent the bones of Winter at home, truly turning inward. A few people ‘checked in’ on me, asking if I was okay, bored or lonely without him. I considered this inquiry well-meaning, but very perplexing and at times frustrating… aloneness yields such gifts when our attention is attuned to the quiet of rain…
My home became a nurturing haven of all that is girlie and good; my mantelpiece offered up an excess of flowers & glowing candles, fairy lights blinked at me above my bed, framed family photos were hung from every wall and my collection of potted plants brought the outside in. I huddled by my fireside reading, resting and soaking up chick-flicks with my puppies and a bowl of spiced apple oatmeal… Heaven.
Splitting wood on a Katoomba doorstep in August, to thawing fingers by the fire, is the cold-slap-contrast that reminds us to choose what is easiest; staying warm and still is the season’s simple focus.
My yoga practice pared back to passive restorative poses, concentrating my energy, like a slow cooked meal. Soles of my feet pressed together in reclined tailor’s pose, became holding hands again with my best friend. With a heated wheat pack, a few drops of drowsy lavender and sleepy puppies weighing me down, I slowed enough to feel the pulse of Winter. This simple evening ritual helped teach me to gently float with Winter, when previously I’d push the cold away, as if my delusions of control would somehow be heard by greater seasonal forces.
When my husband returned, Winter had lowered the stakes by receding to early signs of Spring; tiny plum blossoms awoke where bareness had been before. It was easy to let Winter go this year. Instead of wishing she would leave, she just wrapped a grey shawl around herself one morning and left without me noticing.
We frequently wish for what isn’t, striving and forcing our days into shapes they just aren’t. And as our yoga practice so often mirrors our life, we also push and pull our bodies into shapes, rather than just listening to what is naturally emerging from within. A real warrior doesn’t care how far her fingertips reach, it’s the power than comes from grounded feet, soft and ready to respond to any weather, that gives her strength.
Effortlessly Spring has arrived, and I’m glad. And I’m equally glad for my time alone this year, to truly receive Winter then let her go again.