Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

We are now past the midpoint of winter. Spring will be here exactly one month from today, the realization of which would normally please me no end. I would have had my fill of dark and cold. But this year, I feel sad, nostalgic, about the winter that barely was. Bereft, really.

I look forward every year to the deep freeze of winter and for the freedom that it gives me to dig in and stay put. I like the winter. I like the holing in and the hibernating. I value winter as a time to go inside, batten down the hatches, and stay there, snug and sound till springtime. For me it is a time of taking care of myself on very visceral, physical, and domestic levels.

Winter is a time to sleep more and dream more. A time to read more and write more. A time to make big pots of soup and clean and mend and iron and organize my files and my photographs. Winter brings out all of my hermit tendencies and I could easily spend a week or so at home alone, perfectly happy, and never leave the house.

On the other hand, I also love to bundle up and take long solitary urban hikes with my pup Poppy in the still chill of the park, crunching through the snow, communing with the skeleton trees, scavenging pieces of wood and bark for my fireplace. These forays make me feel like a wild woman who runs with the wolves, even if they are citified chip monks, squirrels and cocker spaniels.

The very best part of these rambles is always returning home, with frozen toes and bright red cheeks, to my warm loft where I am welcomed by my inviting indoor gardens and resident pets. I remove my boots, strip off my multitude of layers, put on my slippers, put up some tea, and light the wood I have gathered. Ah, home again home again, jiggedy jog.

In the stark dark of the season in the pitch of the long winter nights it is only natural to turn inward toward the center. Drawn by an irresistible magnetic force, I am pulled inside of myself, inside of my home, inside of my relationships for the comfort, warmth, love, safety and peace that I find there.

I also find pieces of my own psyche that are now somehow phosphorescent and glow in the dark, whereas they are hidden when I am flitting about in the height of the light times. The quiet and sedentary dark season is when I am challenged to explore the deep inner passages of my own thoughts and imagination, feelings and spirit, The complexities of my own heart and soul.

The hearth is the heart of the home. It is the high altar of the art and craft of living. Its central heat fuels the most basic and profound daily rituals of nurturing, sustenance, support and cheer. The hearth stokes the healthy spirit that comes from physical ease and emotional fulfillment. And we appreciate it all that much more when it is frigid outside.

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth…it is the time for home.
– Edith Sitwell

Spring will be here in six weeks and I am not ready. There are still so many books on my winter reading pile. So many soup ideas, So many projects I was hoping to get to. So I plan to take full advantage of the remaining weeks of winter. Won’t you join me?

Let us use what is left of this inside time to explore the depth of our hearts and souls for the insight, inspiration and enlightenment that we may find there. Let us worship at the domestic shrine and share the holy sacraments of soup and stew and mulled cider. Let us open our hearts and our homes to all of the possibilities of love. Let us create peace in our hearts, in our homes and in the world.

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

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The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

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