I was reading a some yoga based literature last night that I started while on my trip to Alaska (and thinking during reading it that I should just simply start the book over because it is good, I don't want to miss the point and I had so much on my mind there that I feel like I HAVE missed several points)....
But, the chapter I was reviewing pertained to cleansing. It discussed philosophical and physical aspects of the same, talked about some hardcore yoga practices related to it and as I drifted off to sleep while reading (something I often do), little bits of what the author was saying were floating through my mind. Mainly, that there are many kinds of cleansing and some are quite painful, mostly emotionally.
It reminds me of my favorite quote from the modern version of Batman. And, why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. I've heard that all my life and I must say I do believe it to be true. I have come to think of this winter almost as a cleansing mechanism for everything not gritty inside me. Because, despite my desperate (yet apparently half-hearted) attempts to maintain my independence, my gypsy soul, for the past decade or more I have somehow slowly become detached from the salt of myself.
Why describe it like that? Because I have this notion that people, deep and powerful people, people that experience life and live it, have salt. They are the "salt of the earth" types. They are the people when told to "go pound salt" say yes I will and my blood, sweat and tears will form oceans of promise. They are tough and kind and sometimes weary but they keep going. They are independent, resourceful, magical.
I have been reminded more than I ever care to this winter of life's hard days, whether they be simply due to our own personal struggles, the inconveniences of duty, home, work, weather, or the so much more painful truth of mortality, suffering and lack of hope in the world. Everything had started to leave me feeling beaten and worn down. I got nothing else I said one day in relation to the very real drudgery that winter heaps upon my own mind.
And yet, don't I? I mean, really, can I do anything else except form an ocean of every experience to feed my soul? What other choice is there for me but to go on?
And not just go on but go on well. Go on hard and with purpose. Move forward toward the light like everything else in the living world. Reach up and claw and scratch my way to the surface and taste the salt of my sweat (and tears). Relish in what I can do, remember how to do what I have forgotten and learn to do what I need to know.
Those are the lessons that winter is teaching me. May you come out of the Dark Season with your own hope and knowledge and may you use them well.
I realized something this morning on my way in from dog duty. Winter, such as it is, has not been this much like true winter in over a decade here.
When I say "true" winter I mean one in which it snows. And snows. And snows some more and the snow never really melts because the temperature never really gets high enough.
I'm not a baby. I grew up in a place with "true" winter. There are just reasons I don't live there now and winter is one of them. LOL. I live in what is normally a more temperate portion of the state. See, normally we'll get a couple of decent storms per year and the snow will hang around for a few days but then melt away fairly quickly. Or it may snow several days in a row, but not amount to much. Or it will be frigid but not snow. Snow OR cold is what we generally deal with. Not both for weeks on end, dragging into months on end, extending into the entire season.
And as such, I am normally not wearing snow boots to work daily. I am not washing my two pairs of lined, winter pants constantly and wearing them interchangeably because it is too damn cold to wear anything else. I have long since giving in to foregoing fashion this season and in its place I stand in my closet and think about what is most warm that I can put on my body. I'm on autopilot these days. It puts the layers on as it knows is best, it starts the truck early, it goes out in the cold because it must...work, home, chores, bed, repeat.
It is no wonder people get depressed this time of year. February is always especially hard because it is approaching spring but not really, the holidays have been over for quite some time, people are tired, grumpy, light deprived... Given all this I am trying to be most gentle with myself. Even though I felt on one level like a complete slug over the weekend I feel like it was important for me to just not have a damn thing on my agenda for a day and a half. Real winter makes everything more complicated, more tedious, more time consuming. I just needed to be able to make the choice to do absolutely nothing. And to know that it doesn't matter that I haven't been to yoga class or been dripping in proper sweat for a week. I do what I can to cope as does everyone else and that is good enough. I know that I just have to ride the sleigh for this last few weeks and make it work. Everything is always most challenging just before you turn the corner...
And I damn sure am gonna kiss the first flower I see pop its head above ground.