At the risk of whining, November is my least favourite month. With the end of daylight saving time the darkness comes much earlier each day. Here in Vancouver, the rainy season is in full swing, and there’s an unmistakeable chill in the air. With Canadian Thanksgiving already over, and Christmas still many weeks off, I’m feeling myself being drawn towards a cold and dark season without any immediate relief on the horizon.
If you look at my online activity, it’s easy to see that I’m drawing inward. My blogging feels lackluster. I’m largely absent on Facebook and Twitter. Even my current favourite, Instagram, is seeing much less activity. I just want to curl up under a blanket somewhere and hibernate until it’s time to deck the halls, hang the lights and fire up the carols three or four weeks from now. I want something bright to distract me from the fact that winter is coming on, and it’s going to get colder and darker before it gets warmer and brighter.
I’m hardly alone in this, I know. Many of my friends say they are feeling the same thing. As the cold days come on, we all want to find a warm place to hide and rest, safe from the storms outside. In another time, we likely would have done just that, more or less, the harvest already having been safely preserved to sustain us through the winter. Since my own work continues rain or shine, all year long, I can’t. But I’m consoling myself by knitting mittens for my children and cutting myself some slack if I’m feeling just slightly less than dazzling.
And yet, even in the encroaching darkness life provides little bright patches to remind me that all is not so very bleak. For instance, last week as I set about winterizing my garden, I discovered a pleasant surprise. Pulling weeds from my potato patch, where I thought all the plants had failed when they died sometime in July, I found one potato and then another and another. In the end, I had more than two dozen potatoes piled on the grass, offering an unexpected bounty at a time of year when such things are hard to come by.
As the cycle of the year turns, there are dark times. They are not my favourite. Still, I think that maybe we need them. We need time to draw inward and rest. We need the cold and the dark to appreciate the warmth and the light. And we need the reminder that an ending is really just another beginning – an opening for the next thing that will come.
How are you finding hope and light as the darkness deepens?