But it feels more like the message is “welcome back.”
Timing wise, this all corresponds with the ending of daylight savings time and the coming of what I like to call “The Season of Light.” Living in the desert has been a huge change for me. While I have gotten out of bed around 4am for years, living here that changed. As the days got longer (and warmer) I found myself “sleeping in” until 5am. Or even 5:30am. I know that’s probably not most people’s idea of “sleeping in” but it did create a situation where I arose just shortly before sunrise. But now that daylight savings time is over, the days are getting shorter (and cooler) I find myself reverting back. Back to that deeply profound experience of awaking long before dawn. Playing meditative music and – with Riley by my side – preparing for the day.
I think I had briefly forgotten how much I love this. How still the wee hours of the morning are and how deliciously contemplative it makes me feel. How connected. It feels like my personal best moment of the day. No stress. No anxiety. Just the coziness of predawn.
A new ritual began in this house. Lee and I placed a big screen TV in the living room here. We had not done that before nor had we planned on doing it here. We considered that space as sort of hallowed. It was where we would sit and talk about how our days had gone and also where we made plans. But at the last minute, Lee urged me to place one above the fireplace. I had to think about that, but I eventually relented. I’m so glad I did.
In doing that, I discovered YouTube had videos of mediation music with beautiful visuals in the background. Frankly, it’s the main use of that TV. It’s basically art with sound.
So true confessions: I rush the season. I know I do and I don’t care. It makes me happy. It gives me joy. It floods me with peace. So yes, I’ve started playing the YouTube videos of soft, meditative holiday music with holiday scenes. This morning, I was playing one and this scene came up:
And that’s when a very, shocking thought crossed my mind. Oh my God, I miss winter.
Now let me be clear, we moved here for many reasons, but one of those was because I was tired of shoveling five-foot drifts of snow. Tired of being cold. But this time of year where we’re softly tumbling into the Winter Solstice, I am finding that a part of my predawn rituals is a sense that it should be cold. And I miss that. Or at least I miss it from mid-November through December. I’ve always said that in a perfect world, winter would last through January 1st, and then spring would promptly begin on January 2nd. The thought that I would actually miss winter – albeit how briefly – has completely taken me by surprise. I’m also somewhat fascinated to become aware of my own cycles mirroring the cycles of solstice and struggling to remember “Have I always done this? Or is this something new?”
Teaching is learning. I sincerely believe that I taught my best work in that class two weeks ago. And now the learning part is in full bloom.
With you on the journey,
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