I’ve been thinking a lot recently about hibernating. I’m sure it’s not that unusual, since most animals are probably doing exactly that this time of year, and back in simpler times even humans would have food and resources stored up so they could stay indoors, rest a bit more, and plan for the coming warmer times.
Right now, though, especially as we face another deep freeze from the arctic here in Toronto, my thoughts are deeper than simply the act of storing up energy and sleeping more – though we could all use some more sleep, I’m sure. What’s been calling me lately is not just finding an escape from the cold, but rather seeking and resting in a source of warmth, comfort, and peace.
Where do you turn when the cold winds of life start whipping around you? Where do you go when you feel yourself being overtaken by the cold and anxiety and confusion and blizzards? What familiar things does your heart begin to seek when each step seems to be into the bitter cold and unrelenting frost? These are questions with small answers, and big answers.
This is a great time to revive favourite winter traditions or treats. Sometimes, a hot cup of tea and a good book are all that is needed. I myself like a warming, flavoured coffee, hot chocolate – or even the occasional mulled wine! Hearty hot dinners are also perfect this time of year – we’ve had chili, macaroni & cheese, and I’m sure I’ll be making my artichoke chicken dip again pretty soon as well. In these times of cold, we light candles, snuggle under blankets, and linger in hot baths and showers. We slip into cozy pajamas once we get home, and curl up close like little kittens.
This is also a reflective time for me, a time of re-centering. I find myself huddling in even closer to my husband, to our marriage. We already act like smitten newlyweds, but even with that I feel a sense of renewal. I feel a deepening connection to family, and bonds that are so strong, they are written in blood and love. Even more than that, I’m deepening my faith. I find my mind often reflects on the amazing message of the Bible, the utterly amazing gift extended to us through Jesus, and I am humbled and brought to my knees by it. I am in awe, and thankful, because I know that there is nothing I could ever do to deserve such goodness and love. Knowing this, I know that no storm is too much, or too harsh for me. Nothing can even come close to the great love that surrounds me, and I am so grateful for it.
What do you rest upon in stormy times? What is your haven in the cold and darkness?