Walden Once More: Week 4, Day 1

After solstice, winter settles inside of one. Do the days get longer, or is that only a myth told us to keep us from despair?

Henrietta

My world becomes very small in winter.

I don’t feel despair, but around my eyes lingers a tiredness that feels like sadness.

Henrietta

Is this feeling sadness?

I label the feeling “non-specific sadness.” But how necessary is a label?

Let go.

Henrietta

Read to give the mind words, but rest in stillness beneath.

When I breathe, the feeling around my eyes is simply a heaviness in my eyelids, a droop in the corners of my eyes.

Breathe.

Henrietta

When I let go, I feel that the sadness can slide just as quickly into exhilaration.

Let go.

Henrietta

The exhilaration settles into calm.

It is simply winter that I feel, the internal chemistry of winter, slowing the flow of thoughts, feelings, emotions, bringing me to a quiet and still center.

During winter, my great grand uncle saw no one for weeks at a time. He took long walks in the snow to keep appointments with a birch tree, a maple, a grove of pines.

I have begun to talk with the trees in my garden.

Henrietta

“How do you get through the long winter?”

They tell me that spring will come and the sap will quicken once again. This time of quiet is for resting, for preparing for the sudden growth that will come when we have forgotten to expect it.

Henrietta

“So the sap hasn’t disappeared, it’s just slowed!”

I have noticed that there is inside of me, right above my solar plexus, a center that I call “my star.” Sometimes, I put my attention in this center, in my star, and I watch from there the play of emotion that runs through me.

From that center, I am neither happy nor sad, excited nor calm. From that center, these feelings can dance around me, but they are not me. From that center, I am not on either side of a pole. I am in the center, beyond polarity, while the emotions of my internal chemistry of winter flow slowly through me.