Happy Frigid New Year! B-r-r-r, at least where I am (for those of you in warmer climates, Happy Warm New Year)!
So, the tree has come down, or will shortly, the presents all put away, and now we settle in for "a long winter's nap," as the poet said. Actually, that's not far from the truth. In times gone by, Native Americans would call this time of the year The Dream Time. That was when they stayed mostly indoors, huddled around the communal fires, and weaved stories of times gone by, lessons learned, and dreams of spring. Children gathered close and heard the tales of their ancestors, the stories of their people, and their courage both in battle and in hunting for the tribe. The women would use the time to catch up on the weaving, mending, making new clothes for their families, and preparing for warmer days to come. Seeds were dried to plant when the snow melted. And, of course, there was plenty of time to dream. Bears, it would seem, were not the only ones to hibernate!
This is a wonderful time for us to do the same. I don't mean necessarily to hibernate, although that sounds like a great idea for the next few days up here if the weather folks are right about the forecast. I love to use this time to plant my own seeds, so to speak; not the kind you plant in the ground, but the kind you plant in your heart. I like to dream of new creative challenges, things I would like to see come into being for the year ahead. With a warm blanket, a pot of my favorite tea and my journal in hand, I use this Dream Time to go within and release all that did not serve me this past year, and invite new things in that will. I ask myself if I am happy on the path I am traveling, or if it is time to try a different one or, even more exciting, blaze a brand new one myself! Why not?
Dream Time is also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your own triumphs and successes. Make a note of those things so that when, in the coming months, you experience fear or doubt about a new challenge or a new direction, you can turn back and remind yourself that you have been here before and come out a champion! It's also a nice way to keep those memories stored for future generations to know what lessons they can learn from your own adventures in life.
Sadly, I have to settle for a virtual fireplace, but the ambiance is the same. I burn some aromatic oils that smell like a woodsy day and let my pen tell my stories on the page. Then, with the sound of the logs crackling, I close my eyes and dream.
Happy New Year. May all of your dreams be beautiful.
And so it is.