We are heading into the darkest days of the year.  When everything outside is bedding down for the winter, the sun shines only a few hours a day, and we spend our evenings artificially lit.  Amongst all the traveling and logistics and decorating and merchandising, this is actually the time for going inwards, for slowing down and taking stock.  Which makes the shopping frenzy seem even more crazy.  We spend all this time getting stuff and giving stuff that we don’t value what we already have.

Heading into winter is the time when we gather together not only for shared warmth and food, but for stories.  We build our identities, our relationships, and our communities from the stories we tell.  And now in the season of darkness is the time to tell these stories.  To talk of what has been and what will be.  To look on what has happened and make sense of it.  To look at what we need and find it within ourselves.  To heal hurts, form bonds, see the best in each other, love through the worst of each other.

But none of that can happen if we aren’t quiet enough to listen.  None of that is possible if we don’t stop shopping and driving and scheduling ourselves.  None of that will come true if we don’t stop going to events because ‘we have to’.  Slow down.  Think about what’s really important.  Then listen to what’s important to the people you love.  Twine them together and start making plans for the return of the light.