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The season of going inside

The week before Christmas brings the full mania of the season. Radio ads bark, flyers of grinning stock photo families appear in the mail. We feel that combination of dread and excitement that comes with it all. There are the great parts of the season too.. seeing friends and family, going to parties and eating cookies everyday (although that certainly has its downsides..).

Outside, things are quieter. Fewer birds chirping, except for the raucous call of the jays in the yard, who show up every year and shout, "You put suet out three years ago!! We remember!!" But overall, things are quiet. Especially so when it snows, and the silence reverberates.

There is a disconnect between how our culture approaches this season and how nature manifests it. Nature goes quiet and we go loud. Nature seems contemplative and we are full of bustle. There is an opportunity, if we experience this disconnect, to reorient toward the cycles of the seasons. Like the seeds underground, we can go into our interior spaces and see what we find. This coming Wednesday is the longest night of the year. A long darkness before the sun begins to spend more time in this particular part of the world. On Wednesday, we have a special day to pay attention to the quiet and the dark, and to listen to the parts of ourselves that are most comfortable when the lights are out.

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