Midwinter is here. Light is returning.
What's returning in your life?
‘First we forgot where we'd planted those bulbs last year, Then we forgot that we'd planted at all, Then we forgot what plants are altogether, and I blamed you for my freezing and forgetting and The nights were long and cold and scary, Can we live through February?’ ~Dar Williams, February
We’ve arrived to midwinter, friends. Many of you are reading from warm climates—from California, Florida and also locations in South America—where the winds are warm.
But together, we can enter the archetype of midwinter: a place we’ve all been, metaphorically speaking. And may find ourselves now.
Midwinter might bring dread and exhaustion—and also a sense of hope and shifting. I hear all of those feelings in Dar William’s beautiful lyrics and music. Take a listen.
In the Celtic tradition, Imbolc (which means ‘in the belly’) is celebrated on February 1, a day to make fires and honor goddess Brigid, who symbolizes hope, spring and regeneration. Still in the belly of winter, midway between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, we imagine longer, lighter days coming.
In the Jewish tradition, Tu B’Shevat, a day to honor trees, ecology and our connection to the seasons, also arrives midwinter. My son George, who turns twenty this year, came into the world on Tu B’Shevat, so the day holds that meaning for me, too. George’s birth was through emergency c-section and though I recovered quickly physically, it’s taken me these twenty years to release some of the trauma of that day.
Parenting my son George, who has multiple disabilities, has taught me more than any other experience in my life about possibility and transformation.
This time of year, in the belly of winter, I am leaning into fire, trees, gratitude and hope—while acknowledging that dark moments may come and go, when spring feels far away.
Set aside 5-7 minutes for this practice. Write in a journal or open a ‘Journey with The Season’ document where you can return each Sunday.
Where does midwinter find you? Make a list of everything in your life that is giving you a sense of energy and hope. Make a list, too, of what’s making you feel weary or exhausted.
Read over your list and pick the thing that draws your attention. Explore with details and images—what you’re feeling, seeing, sensing in midwinter.
Write from the perspective of something non-human in nature: a favorite tree. The rain. A fire. An animal creature. Describe what’s happening in midwinter from their perspective.
Each week when you write, feel free to share any part of it here for our community OR email me at email@example.com.
Thank you for being here! Word of mouth is the primary way that I’m growing this community. Invite a friend to join us for February!
If you’re interested in joining my next online expressive writings series Soulful Spring, registration is now open.