December nights are long. And I feel like I’m right in the middle of one dark, continuous night. And the only thing I can do is wait.
As cozy as it is with the lights + decorations during this season, I’m finding it hard to keep up with the pace (even the slow pace that I have) of work/life that I have. My temptation is to want to run away. To escape. To travel. To just go. But, that’s an impossible dream right now thanks to Covid-19. Which can only mean one thing really. I am meant to be here right now. In the dark. Struggling to find the energy to do the simple things. Wanting my three weeks off during the holidays to begin yesterday. Knowing that I need a break and a change. But, also knowing that it’s not time yet. Release will come in a week. But, then what? Three weeks of just being home. It sounds heavenly + horrible all at the same time.
Still, as the darkness grows with each passing day. As my energy wanes as well. As my soul craves nothing but solitude + stillness. I must find a way to align my responsibilities + the rhythm that my soul seeks. For one more week.
This season, the last few days of the season of the witch, are revealing so much to me. And all I want is time to reflect + process it all. Time to sit with the uncomfortable, shadows spaces of my soul that are showing me all of the old habits that I’ve been dragging around for years. Things like, the affect of negativity on my soul. My fear of confrontation. My procrastination + lack of discipline. My inability to ignore things that are uncomfortable. For once, I just want to sit with it all + let it all go.
Perhaps this is a byproduct of 2020. Which, by the way, is something else for which I want endless, quiet time to myself. I want to reflect + understand + learn from all of the feelings + experiences I’ve had throughout this year.
But, you know, as much as I want to take it slow + retreat into my inner world, I am reminded as I sit in the dark with only Christmas lights glowing in my living room, that this is the season of Advent. This is the season of waiting. And I wonder if it’s this deep darkness all around me that I am actually trying to avoid. Maybe I’m not embracing the darkness as well as I think I am.
But, it’s not time for all of that yet. I still have my daily work responsibilities to tend to. I have got to find a way to infuse my work moments with the energy of these long dark days. It is so hard for me to align the rhythm of my soul with the rhythm of societal norms. I want to fall into hibernation + restoration. And, I am finding ways to do just that when I am at home. But, now that the deep darkness of the season is here, as I seek to live my life in rhythm with the energy of the season, I am having to fight to stay active with those outer activities.
Perhaps I say I want all of this quiet time to reflect, but really I just want to veg out + escape from it all. I’m just tired of waiting. Waiting for life to get back to normal. Waiting for a break from work that will hopefully give me new inspiration + energy so I am ready to go in January. Waiting to know when I can see my family in the States again. Waiting for a vaccine. Waiting for justice + equality + peace to come.
Advent is not really a cozy time. We like to think that it is super cozy. We light our candles, one a week. Hang stars in our windows and string lights outside + inside + all around. Desperately trying to brighten up the long, dark nights. Yearning for the winter solstice, for Yule, for Christmas when everything changes and the light returns to the earth to offer up hope + respite from the suffering + wailing + darkness of the world.
Advent is a time that’s in-between. A period of desperate waiting in the middle of the messiness of life. When we have to dig deep to simply wake up + drag ourselves out of bed to meet the days that feel like nights. We have to face all of the brokenness, the pain, the suffering, the sickness, the inequality, the brokenness + the pain of the world around us. We cannot close our eyes or turn our heads. The darkness envelopes us. All around. Pressing in. Dragging on.
Here in Sweden we have literally had ZERO minutes of sunshine since mid- November. Just low, thick, dark, gray clouds for the 5 hours of daylight. And then, black darkness again. No sun. No moon. No stars. Not even any snow. And it’s weighing on me. Contributing to my longing to find a few cracks in the darkness.
But, even if Advent is not a cozy, cuddly time… even if it is a time of truth + honestly + waiting… it is also a promise. Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus“, which means coming, arrival.
Do you know what that means, loves? Just as the rhythm of the seasons + the wheel of the year turns, Advent reminds us also that life continues on. The cycle begins again. Hope + light + life will return. Christians celebrate the coming of the baby Jesus as the messenger of love for all, the great cosmic, divine love coming to earth to teach us about true love for one another – seen as justice + equality + peace. Others celebrate the coming of light, the return of the sun, the turning of the seasons. Also bringing a message of hope + love + life.
But, it is coming. For now, it is still time for these long, dark nights to continue. And, yet, even though it is fucking uncomfortable + seemingly never-ending, it is not to be feared. For the dark is simply the beginning. This is the place where the roots sink deep down + take hold. And we need those roots. We need a strong, stable foundation if we’re to usher in light + change + love to a dark world. This is the place of conception, where transformation takes place, where growth begins. Though we see nothing of it.
And that’s what makes it so hard. But, we’re asked to trust the dark. We’re asked to believe in magic + mystery + miracles. We’re asked to wait for weeks in the long, dark nights.
So, the only thing to do is to rest in the darkness. To soak it in. To listen + to slow down – even in our work. These are the long, dark nights. And the only thing to do is wait. But, it’s a mystical, hopeful, life-changing kind of waiting. So, take a deep breath. Stay present. Ground yourself with rituals of candle-lighting, songs, walks in the dark, hearty food, and meditation.
Blessed Advent, dear ones. xoxo. liz.
Sending you big hugs from a long social distance! I think at this point it’s hard not to feel impatient for life to get back to some sense of normalcy. You know I don’t live in an area with so much darkness but I am affected by winter. I know I have seasonal affective disorder and my psychiatrist had me get a light therapy lamp for winter. It makes a huge difference for me but again, I don’t have that much darkness to my days.
I’m hear you and I see you. I hope things “brighten up” for you soon.
Thank you so much, dear friend. The darkness is heavy, but it will not last forever. Sending you all of the hugs I can right back!