I was telling a friend the other day that I'm looking at January and February as months of hibernation vs isolation. Granted, the activity looks the same on the outside, but I believe the internal motivation is different. Lemme explain.
During hibernation, while the world goes on around the hibernating animal, in this case, I'm using a female bear as the example, the bear is actually bringing forth life. Because of the way that the bear's systems are created, they are designed to give birth, to bring life into this world, during the dark, cold months of winter and then emerge in the spring with new life.
Isolation, on the other hand, by definition means to be far away, to have little contact or little in common with others.
On the surface, those two could be synonyms. But are they? I don't think so. I don't think they are interchangeable in a sentence. I don't think they mean the same thing.
I have a tendency to get quiet in the winter. Don't get me wrong: I love winter, but I don't like gray and brown winters. I love snow. I love cold weather. I love the long nights and the shortened days. I have always tried to set my lifestyle by the cycles on the calendar. Living on a farm and raising animals, veggies, and kids meant that as the seasons change, so do I. The old adage, "Make hay while the sun shines" is used pretty consistently around this house because it means so much in so many different contexts.
But the opposite can be true, too. Rest when the days get short and the ground rests. Rest while the trees are resting. Rest. Hibernate. Bring forth life when the earth begins to awaken.
So I rest. And this year, I've adopted the idea of hibernating. I've pulled in and gotten cozy. I've indulged in lots of tea drinking, book reading, and candle lighting. I've spent time in my barn pitching straw and hay, getting ready for baby goats to be born, refilling water buckets, bedding nests, and collecting eggs. I've written some blog posts, set up some email marketing, cleaned out my shoppe, and have started to put together the info to do my taxes. I'm trying new recipes and baking more bread. I might try my hand at sourdough- we'll see. I want to create the space for rest for my beloved husband when he gets home from work as well. And all of that comes from a place of intention.
But I'm determined to bring forth life when the earth awakens. I'm birthing a new found sense of joy. Or maybe I'm birthing a new level of contentment. Or perhaps I'm birthing a new appreciation for life in general.
But right now, I'm hibernating. I'm not isolating. I'm resting and will bring new life with me out of my den in the spring.
And it'll be beautiful