I am planning a winter sabbatical soon. Time away with no distractions and the chance to delve deeply into my real work: my book and myself. When I'm here, things easily get in the way and the book patiently waits.
I also think this very forceful nudging is a response to the holidays: the expectation, obligation and tradition as well as weeks of a big push all for ONE day. Yes, I find Christmas Eve magical, but the day after makes me shake my head in wonder. I agree with early Quakers that every day should be lived as if it is sacred, not just one or two days out of the year.
I have really cut back on gifts, commitments, cards, baking and a whole lot else. I do more trimming every year and each Dec. 26 I feel more and more like giving up the tradition completely, but I am not certain how that would sit with other family members. I may need to find out.
I am certain that I need to live more simply and that begins with me getting away by myself to a small place in the woods with only my book and the bare essentials. Who knows, I may be climbing the walls after the first day. I do believe it will take a few days to find my rhythm; the one warped by our culture's mushrooming pace.
I did it once before, but with a different intention. I spent a week in Italy alone to immerse myself in the culture, art, food, language and people. It was a tough lesson and I texted my best friend at midnight the second night: "Why did I think I was an introvert?"
This time, I hope I am more prepared. I'll have even less distraction. I believe winter suits this. I'll be holed up, but that's where my spirit calls. I heard an amazing musician on pbs yesterday say winter is for reflection, which has always been my reaction. We're forced inside literally and figuratively. It's also the time I feel more alive, more embodied and in tune. It's the season of my birth. A season that suits introverts.
It seems as if I am the only one among my friends who welcomes the solace and hunkering down; they're ready to keep making merry with large groups well after the holidays. Not I. I am so very ready for the quiet of my own spirit. And the quiet in which to seek Spirit's direction.
• How do the holidays leave me feeling?
• What type of break do I need after?
• When, where and how does simplicity call me?
• In what way(s) can I invite that into my life?
• In way way(s) can I invite Spirit deeper into my life?
so that a time and space
once reserved for
reflection, gratitude and praise
becomes something else entirely
something from which I
wish to disengage
so I may re-engage
with myself and, mostly,