Beliefnet
The Queen of My Self

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.

 

The Garlic Lady in February

By Crescent Dragonwagon

I am the garlic lady, six

Pressed cloves on my spaghetti, and

Those bulbs as raw as myself on

This blustery day

Which I shall spend at home, entertaining myself. I find my jokes

Enormously funny, and I know

About herbs and botannicals, too.

Take the pungent healing tuber

I love to chew: it’s allium,

An errant member of the lily family

And you’d sweat it through your pores

If you wore it in your shoe.

For just today I’ve ten good books

And wood and food and fire. Only

Sleet and gust are welcome guests;

Who’d dare drive this windy way, to knock

At my steamy kitchen, who would Intrude? I am the red-wine one-woman

Gypsy-coven, and I dance

And dance and dance

My smell is strong and my taste

Is strong and you say

I am wild, yet never begin

To see me dance and dance and dance.

Now if you should see me walking the town

If you dare, watch for my eyes;

They’ll catch you like a dime in the sidewalk.

Put this meeting in your pocket; now add

Your chili fingers. Now, now,

Though you may not see me again ’til April,

Your hands are warm for the rest of the winter.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.

 

Winter is now well into its second half. The season is winding down. For most people the coming of spring is eagerly anticipated, for me it is a rather bittersweet time.

I like the winter, you see. 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. This dim quiet time is so conducive to deep rest and deep thought. During the darkest time of the year, it is possible to delve into the depth of the heart of our soul to discover the riches of wisdom buried there.

I always look forward to winter as a time of taking care of myself on very visceral spiritual, physical and domestic levels. It is a time to sleep more and dream more. A time to journal more and meditate more. 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. To organize my messy mind.

Winter brings out all of my hermit tendencies and I could easily spend a week or so at home alone and never leave the house. And never miss the company of others, nor the cosmopolitan attractions. I love cabin fever! I could putter and patshkie and futz forever. And now that this blessed inside time is nearly over, I am already bemoaning all the cozy projects that I wasn’t able to accomplish this year.

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

But the best part of these outings is always returning home, toes frozen and cheeks bright red, to my warm loft, inviting indoor gardens and resident fauna. I take off my boots, put on my slippers, steep some tea. Is there a more cozy luxury? Home again, home again. Jiggedy jog!

In the stark dark of the season, in the pitch of the long night, nature compels us to turn inward toward the center. 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. 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.

Drawn by this irresistible magnetic force, we are pulled inside of ourselves for the comfort and cheer that we seek in a frozen world. We need to dig deep to feel the heat just now. The sun is absent. The air is chilled. The Earth, Herself, is cold and hard as death. The only heat left is locked deep inside the molten core in the middle of our soul.

Our heart is the center of our being. It is the buried treasure that rewards us when we dare to travel through the dark tunnels that lead us ever inwards to the essence of our spirit. It is the furnace from which radiates the heat, the power and passion of our lives. Our 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 and loving support. The hearth stokes the healthy spirit that comes from physical ease and emotional fulfillment.

We still have five more weeks until the Vernal Equinox, when we will emerge into the light. Let us use this remaining time of darkness well. Let us explore our hearts and souls for the insight, inspiration and enlightenment that we might find there. Let us worship at the domestic shrine and share the holy sacraments of hot soup and stew, chocolate and mulled cider.

Let us open our hearts and our homes to all possibilities of comfort, warmth and light.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

I have grown to love winter. It is a time of being home and laying low. A time of making soup and catching up on my ironing. A time of long, indulgent hot baths and slow starting mornings in bed with a cup of tea and a good book.

During February I will be sharing articles about Domestic Queens, Introverted Queens, Privacy Seeking Queens, Self-Loving Queens, and Literary Queens. And as always, I ask you to please share your stories on these themes.

 

I recently spent three days and nights with four very old friends in a lovely country house in Connecticut. We were there to help Sarah prepare for the annual fair on the village green that she directs ? a huge endeavor with zillions of details to attend to. Just like my public ritual events.

On the night before the fair we stayed up to all hours preparing the descriptive cards for the silent auction. There we were, five midlife women up way past  our bedtime, drinking white wine and trying to come up with snappy slogans for all 90 lots in the auction. Well I tell you!

We were completely slaphappy. Shouting out these ridiculous phrases in praise of Dottie’s Donuts, The Well Manicured Pet, and the Agway. Punning around shamelessly. We just laughed and laughed. Huge, full, deep belly laughs. “When was the last time,” I thought to myself, “that I have laughed so hard for so long?”

I actually remember when. It was at a wonderful brunch that I gave for six friends. Diane, who is always funny, was on a roll that day and kept us in stitches for hours. We laughed the entire afternoon away. It was last fall. Totally wonderful, but entirely too long ago.

I have known Sarah, Erica, Daile, and Kay for decades. They are beloved family for me. Yet I see them for food and fun so rarely. We live in different places and we are all always so busy. It was such a delicious joy to have so much uninterrupted quality time together. Being in their company was like being in the embrace of the Goddess, Herself.

My all time favorite film is Jules et Jim by François Truffaut. There is a beautiful scene in it where these two men, a woman, and a child, a loving chosen family, are sitting around after a meal. They are sated and happy, comfortably quiet and content. Safe with each other. Out of the sweet silence Oscar Werner says, “An angel is passing.”

That is exactly how I felt in Connecticut. It was a perfect time. Nothing could ever feel better. An angel definitely passed that night.

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A reader posted this as a comment about my posting, “What the Groundhog is Really Telling Us” on my Huffington Post column. I had to share it!

 

ARISE

As nature slowly awakens,

And slowly opens her eyes,

Another new dawn on spring,

And slowly brightening skies.

A spark of inspiration,

Another touch of sun,

Amongst a snowy blanket,

Another winters nearly done.

And at the coldest time of year,

The smallest beasts arrive,

And grow the smallest seedlings,

We pray they all survive.

Its here we plant our wishes,

And steadily watch them grow,

With good intentions throughout the year,

And a fruitful bright tomorrow.

Blue skies; green trees for cover,

Brown earth; she is your bed,

Bird chorus; your alarm clock,

Spring grass; to rest your head.

– by Andrea Gibbons 2007

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering 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 thequeenofmyself@aol.com.