The holiday season is in full effect. It is a season that is steeped in religious tradition, familial gatherings, spending of small fortunes, and personal neglect. The holiday season is one of the most joyful times of year, only rivaled by the first buds of spring after a long winter. It is a time of gratitude, preparation, celebration, forgiveness, and new beginnings. With all the beauty, and joy of the season it is imperative that we do not disconnect from our true selves. We, in the northern hemisphere, celebrate this joyous season in the midst of winter. We snuggle up inside, bundle up against the elements and hibernate throughout these months. If it were not so common place, and we reflected critically on these behaviors, we would conclude that it is quite weird.
It’s cold out, many outdoor activities cease, we prefer the comforts of home, and we neglect our connections with nature. In subconscious ways we attempt to reconnect with the natural world that we disconnect from by bringing it inside our homes. It begins with gourds, pumpkins, autumn leaves, and progresses to pinecones, holly branches, snowmen, garland, culminating in a evergreen in the living room. Subconsciously we acknowledge the longing for the nature, we bring it inside with decor, scents, and anything necessary to stimulate those senses that we are neglecting.
When our nervous system is longing for these humble stimuli we claim it as a disorder, diagnosis it, or blame the sun. Maybe this longing for the natural world is simply just your innate intelligence pushing you toward the door, toward your sneakers, toward your tundra grade jacket to take a walk. The boardwalks are still there in the winter. The parks remain intact, the trails are still kept. The sun still shines each day.
There truly is something special about the winter breeze off the ocean, the way the angle of the sun warms your body through the chilly winter air, or the smell of the fallen rustling rotting leaves as you walk through a nature preserve. Hibernating this winter is for bears. Without batting an eye, we head to the gym sweat furiously only to come home and sit on the couch. How often do you play in the rain or snow? Have you laid in the sun since Labor Day? Have you heard the sound of the waves?
It may be worth your while to hug a tree thank it for the bountiful oxygen it breaths to us. You way want to take a moment and peel off you top (with some modesty) and sit in the sun for a few minutes regardless of the temperature - you can handle it! The freshly ionized sea air awaits the opportunity to fill your sinuses, your lungs, and your soul.
So much of the season that lies ahead is begging for us to reconnect with our senses, ourselves and remember our connection to our mother, the womb that gently holds us and nourishes us every moment of our lives.