The Queen of My Self

In the stark dark of the season in the dark of the long night we are compelled to turn inward toward the center. Drawn by an irresistible magnetic force, we are pulled inside of ourselves, inside of our homes, inside of our relationships for the comfort, warmth, love, safety and peace that we seek.

Because it is difficult to see in the dark, our other senses are awakened and called into action to guide us through the gloom. If we pay careful attention, we can smell and taste the flavors of excitement, affection and creativity and. If we listen very carefully, we can hear the buzz of life that surrounds us and if we keep still enough, we can feel the energizing charge that radiates throughout the universe warming us from within.

But we need to dig deep to feel the heat just now. The sun is absent. The air is chilled. The Earth, Herself, is cold as death. The only heat left is locked deep inside the molten core in the middle of our deepest selves.

The heart is the center of our being. It is the buried treasure that rewards us when we dare to travel the dark tunnels that lead to the essence of our soul. It is the furnace from which radiates the heat, the power and passion of our lives. The heart is the most honest manifestation of our authentic self. The seat of our heart’s desire, the grace that lies at the heart of all that matters.

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 most profound daily rituals of nurturing, sustenance, support and cheer. The hearth stokes the healthy spirit that comes from physical ease and emotional fulfillment.

My home hearth calls me so insistently these days. “You are home with us,” it cries with joy. “Come cook!”

And cook I have. I made a surprisingly super-luscious coq au vin. Surprising, because I had never made this dish before and I just sort of made it up, guided by my longing for blissful candle-lit home-cooked dinners. I made zucchini in tomato sauce, which I froze in small containers in anticipation of future zucchini pastas and omelets and zucchini au gratin.

But I mainly made soup. Great pots of lentil, black bean, mushroom barley and cabbage soup. My freezer is full of single-and-double-portion-size jars of soup. And I am not souped out yet. Still on my to do list are chili, chicken ginger spinach, chicken vegetable, Scotch broth, cream of tomato, and gumbo. I am a kitchen goddess concocting potions and brews and spells of happy home and hearth and heart.

Let us all use this time of darkness well. Let us explore 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, mulled cider and cocoa. 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.


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Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and 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. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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


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