Jennifer writes: As our side of the Earth falls into a slumber, it may seem our time to do so as well. We pull on our mittens and wrap ourselves in heavy sweaters and jackets to brave the new brisk air. Our children are warmly wrapped from head to toe so they may enjoy this changing of the seasons as well. The days grow shorter and the sun rests much longer than it used to. As this happens, my home can become darker and more confining, and so can my mood.
It is our task during these times of gray, to find the light. I am reminded of my LifeWays training during which Cynthia Aldinger spoke to us about HomeMaking. First, it is exactly as it sounds. A home does not just exist, you must put forth effort every moment to make it one. Similarly, when darkness appears, it is our responsibility to uncover and release the light.
Cynthia was discussing cleaning (specifically those corners—you know which ones…). But I now see the metaphor. I will go to those corners with joy, knowing that as I clean, I provide opportunity for the light to return and for my family to enjoy this space, their home. I will light candles to bless our meal and to give us warmth in our hearts. I will light a fire in our stove to warm our bodies when we return from exploring winter outside. But, perhaps most importantly, I must have light in my heart and allow it to remain no matter how strong the wind may have desire to blow it out. As a strong flame can always be shared with other candles, so must mine. During these times when most people feel an inward pull, I extend my light and help others find theirs.
This contraction, both of the Earth and within ourselves, is both natural and necessary. As winter continues, we may discover a calmer, more restful period than those longer bright days that summer provides. We can use this time for reflection, and contemplation. Perhaps we can refocus on that which is most important to us. While brushing our children’s hair or cleaning out the cobwebs, find solace and find joy and find the light.
Jennifer Sullivan is a recent LifeWays graduate and currently a Masters student in the Great Lakes Waldorf Teacher Training. She is a work-at-home, stay-at-home mommy of a four-year-old and an infant.