Hibernation as a sacred practice

In this northern latitude where I live, December and January are very dark months. The days are short, for evening starts about 4 pm. And because we are a rainy climate, it's often gray adding to the low light of winter. A rabbi friend who lived for many years in Los Angeles was complaining to me about the gloom here, and I mentioned to him my thoughts on hibernation as a spiritual practice.

This is a time of year to slow down, to be inside, to go inside our homes and ourselves. A time for rest and reflection. Nature's energy is low this time of year, all the plants recuperating from the growth season and gathering its energy for the next spring. We can do the same. It's a time to create a rest practice, to read and contemplate. To dream up new ideas but not to put those ideas into practice, not yet.

While I still walk most days between the rain storms and love to gather with friends, I also crave more solitude in this season. I love the candles, the lamp light, the warmth of the interior. I am grateful for it.

What's your favorite form of hibernation?


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