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We live in a connected world. Not connected by the threads of modern human-to-human telecommunication (though these links have catalyzed big changes), but by our interactions with the plants, animals, mushrooms, microbes, soil and stone, water, air, fire and light with whom we share the biosphere. We became human, and continue to grow, fully embedded in this living, breathing system.
Welcome back, friends, to the time of the Winter Solstice. Perhaps because it is the darkest time of year, perhaps because the Northlands become so cold, we find a richness of traditions, rituals, and legends from this season to keep our hearts bright and warm.
It's the time of year when many of the simple joys of life become the heart and center of this season; spending time with family and friends, the coziness of winter, warm fires, mugs of mulled wine, and lovingly prepared meals.
We have arrived to November, a true in-between time. The colorful leaves have fallen, the garden has been put to rest, and we are awaiting the first snowfall to make the landscape beautiful once again. It's the start of the holiday season, and we find more time to spend with family and friends, indulging in lovingly-prepared meals, and cozying up to the warm fires of the season.
As we settle into the fall season, welcoming in the long nights and colder temps, it's the perfect time to cozy up, welcome solitude and deep self-care. October is all about the grounding and warming rituals that we welcome in for the winter months.
As fall moves on, some folks complain that the days get short. But think about the longer nights! You can feel them now. When the moon is full, the arc it traces lasts from sunset to sunrise, instead of getting drowned out early by the insistent, enthusiastic July sun. We get the full harvest moon, shining over the fields with its gift of extra light to gather the grain.
There’s something so comforting about banana bread. The smell of it baking and the warmth of the oven, especially as the seasons change and we spend more time indoors, cozying up. Changing seasons generally adds occasional stress to the body, so that’s a time when we start relying on Immune Tonic.
I love making things with my kids. We make a lot of art together but lately we’ve been getting creative with herbs and plants. We have a community garden plot and they enjoy coming with me to see what is growing and to harvest tomatoes and flowers.
September can be such a scattered month; cold and brisk one morning, making us yearn for slippers and cozy blankets, and then the next, a sweltering 80 degree day that has us ready to head to the swimming hole. That's what this month is all about--change and transition, and how to weather it gracefully...
I mostly remember the cool, dark mornings that turned, slowly, into day through the high evergreen canopy. We'd left well before dawn and were walking uphill through a forest of mature spruce with tracts of larch and hardwoods. Come fall, these would become golden veins running down the mountainside, but now everything was a deep green-black, and smelled like fairytale:
As you and your family transition from summer activities into the regular routines of home and school life, it's a good time to take the health of your family into your own hands.