"I love the cocoon feel of winter," my friend Ahri told me.
Now, I don't mind the early sunsets, except for the fact that they limit my hiking window. (Here in the mountains, the sun goes down at 2:45 these days.) I'm blessed to not have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and don't get depressed by lack of sunlight. But the idea of actually welcoming the early darkness was new to me.
Until now. This year I get what she meant. I'm embracing the cycle of long evenings and nights. Instead of being more time to crank it out, it's an opportunity to settle in to music, reflection, home, family, prayer, stories, reading and mediation.
It's satisfying to flow with cycles, but it's practical, too. I always recommend people plan their days with awareness of cycles. For me, morning is prime time for efficient output. I dive right in with work that requires focus. I schedule the mindless activities for later in the day. I sleep much better - as most people do - if I settle in before bed time. Each day has it's own seasons.
The more we honor rhythms of the days, weeks, months, years - and our own life cycles - the more graceful, joyful and significant our lives can be.
Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year. I am enjoying the cocoon feel my friend told me she embraces. And as the days get longer again, I'll be ready, and embrace that, too.
I wish you the sweetness of moonshine and the brilliance of sunshine and the grace and joy of life in balance.