Wintering in Spring

DenaMay 3, 2023

I’ve started this so many times. But I could never get it right. So I kept putting it off. And then months went by and then years went by. Finally, I realized that it was never going to be “right.” I was always going to be scared. But I was going to have to do it anyway.

Since it is May, and perhaps May brings us the most beautiful new beginning of all, I thought that this might be the right time——to just begin.

I’ve known for a couple of years now that I was meant to read the book, Wintering by Katherine May. I’d seen several of my favorite writers explain its importance and wonder, and I wanted desperately to pick it up. But a voice inside me kept telling me to wait. So I waited and waited. Then finally, this weekend past, that same voice said, it’s time. It seemed odd, that I should read Wintering at the beginning of spring, but now that that I’ve started, I know precisely why it unfolded this way.

The subtitle of Wintering is “The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times.” And the truth of my life at this moment, is that this is what I need: a period of rest and retreat to get through a difficult time. You see, for the last 4 years I have been existing in survival mode, rushing from one crisis to another. There was the pandemic, my high-risk twin pregnancy, my husband’s diagnosis with end-stage renal failure, postpartum, returning to work full-time after 9 years that led to catastrophe on so many levels, and so many other truly shattering circumstances that have been woven into these difficult, difficult years.

Now, after all of it, my nervous system is destroyed and I have been left gasping for air, not just emotionally but physically. So often over the course of these years I have wanted to stop, to correct course, to make it right, but there was never time. A deep exhaustion has been growing over my soul and my body, slowly spreading like a plague. I have been feeling it inside of my bones. And I realize now that I cannot go on like this. Hard stop.

Breathe. This spring, this May, as I turn 39-years-old, a new season is beginning for me. I am shifting everything. I am slowing down. I am resting and retreating. I am eliminating all non-essential things from my life so that I can turn inward, begin to heal my shattered nervous system, and set right the many scattered and broken pieces of my life. This will require that I pour into myself the way that I have always poured into others. This will require that I set and enforce immovable boundaries. This will require me to be uncomfortable at times, but this is precisely what growth is.

So here I go, I will be wintering in spring. It is a beautiful paradox and a perfect lifting off of what I have wanted to embrace for so long——Intentional Seasonal Living. My plan for the next 4 months is to do absolutely nothing, to have no plan, to live each day by allowing nature to speak to my intuition and to take only the actions that feel good and necessary to my soul. This will mean saying no to a lot, so that I can, finally, say yes to what is right.

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