'Tis The Season!
This time of year, more than almost any other time of year, is associated with stories and mythology, and mysteries. I recently got the HiveQuest Gratitude Cards (more about this later in this newsletter!). One of the things we do at the beginning of team meetings is we take a breath together and draw a card as a way to help us come together and center in on our work together and find the day's shared inspiration.
I drew the card Mystery just before the Solstice and realized that, besides the inclination towards extreme hibernation I experience this time of year, it really is a season of mysteries. From the dawning of Solstice in Newgrange in Ireland (does the sun return?) to the many mysteries of Christmas (virgin birth? stars guiding wisemen? angels? immigrants finding an unlikely place to stay? All of the above plus more!), to the mysteries of Hanukkah (how does oil for one night's worth of lamp last for seven nights?). Then there are the Santa/St. Nick/variations - how do reindeer fly? How does Santa make it all around the world in 24 hours at midnight? And there are other mysteries that I'm not as familiar with and/or am leaving out due to space constraints. :) There are so many amazing winter holidays with amazing stories that happen in a really compact timeframe over the winter.
Which makes sense, when I think of it. The winter months tend to be darker, the days shorter, the harvest has come and gone and everyone gathered inside to tell stories and pass the time. Now we are not so bound to agricultural schedules, but our holidays remain. They help us to recognize the passage of time, and find ways to celebrate milestones and memories.
When I was little, living in Calgary, the winters were obviously much colder than in the temperate Pacific Northwest. One of the things that fascinated me was the fern frost on the windows, always blamed on little Jackie Frost, coming to paint the frost on the windows at night. It made my windows look enchanted and I was always sad to see it disappear during the day, only to have reappeared in the morning when I woke up.
Bits and pieces of the poem by Laura E Richards and associated song by Eleanor Smith would be repeated to me about the frost:
Jacky Frost, Jacky Frost,
Another mystery! Who is this little sprite-like creature who paints everything with such delicate and beautiful frost every night!?
Came in the night;
Left the meadows that he crossed
All gleaming white.
Painted with his silver brush
Kissed the leaves and made them blush,
Blush and blush again.
Jacky Frost, Jacky Frost,
Crept around the house,
Sly as a silver fox,
Still as a mouse.
Out little Jenny came,
Blushing like a rose;
Up jumped Jacky Frost,
And pinched her little nose.
We have had a tiny bit of snow here this winter. For functional day to day life, it's a significant complicator in the PNW. We have many microclimates and hills that tend to ice and become impassible. But in the moments when one can step out of the day to day, when one is home safe, there is no denying the magic of the snow quietly drifting down, and for me, the joy of break from routine.
As much as I love Halloween, I really do love this time of year as well. In some ways, Halloween is just the start of the end of calendar year holiday season in our house. I love the joyful lights everywhere, I love the tree in the house, I love the stories, the mysteries, the memories... as much as life is a journey, it is also the joy, and sometimes discomfort, of uncovering the mysteries along the way.
Shifting gears, as I come to the end of this newsletter, and return you to your day, I wanted to briefly come back to the cards. I do work for HiveQuest so I'm not an unbiased party. I also have two promotional decks that I'm trying to decide how to distribute (more mysteries - do a lottery? just send them to two random people? some other method?). From the description on the site, "The cards are designed to help you explore the practice of gratitude in your own life, using the beauty of nature to catalyze your thought and action. We invite you to pick a card daily (alone or with others) and reflect on its message and what it might inspire you to do."
May your mysteries this season bring you joy!
With love and curiosity,