native_american_storytellerIn all the hullabaloo that is the Christmas season it’s easy to forget the actual season going on.  This is the last week of fall, even if it already feels like winter in many places and spring is just coming on in others.  In the Northern Hemisphere the trees have shed their leaves, the evergreens are taking their rightful and stately place as the prominent landscape feature, plants are drawing in on themselves to hibernate until spring, and the days are increasingly getting shorter while the nights are getting longer.

It’s the time of darkness.  The harvest is in, all need to be outside is done, and it’s time now for going inward.  In indigenous cultures this would be the time for indoor projects such as mending equipment, crafting new tools and clothing, and inner reflection. During the other seasons there is so much to do that thinking about the bigger picture of it all, understanding the ramifications of things, grieving and lamenting, revelling and wallowing have to be set aside for later.  Winter is later.  The dark is when we can be alone with our feelings and our thoughts, catch up on ourselves and reflect.  Go inward and rejuvenate after all the hard work.  And it is a time for stories.  During the winter months when everyone is working on indoor projects is a time for sharing the wisdom of our elders.  Listening to the stories that are our history, weaving them into our present, and seeding them into our future.  It is the time for “remember when” and teasing and sharing and learning.  It’s the time when we reconnect with the 7 generations that have gone before us and see that what we are is a gift…or not…to the 7 generations coming after us.  We are the elders and ancestors of the generations to come.

In all of this we explore and delight in the darkness which contains all possibilities and embrace the light within us as we enjoy the candles and flames which warm and light our way.  The inner and the outer glow with the rewards of what we have done this year and with the promise of the year to come.  Winter Solstice is coming.  The day when the night is longest, the daylight the shortest, and the wheel turns from Fall to Winter.  Take a moment to turn inward and bask in your own light.