Welcoming the Darkness

Welcome to normal time, as we adjust to “falling backwards” an hour. Much as I appreciate the earlier morning light, evenings are tough now. And it will only get darker as we journey toward winter solstice. We can't escape it. The short days return year after year, right on cue. I try to accept and appreciate cycles and thrive in darkness, but it’s hard. Every year, when we get to this place in the season, I feel restless and uncomfortable, and cold.  Sometimes I wonder if my reaction to the darkness ever changes.    

Life moves in cycles, but I keep clinging to a linear path, expecting ever upward and onward progress in my personal and professional life. I'm tired of what feels like the same circles, the same choices, the same mistakes. I keep expecting to arrive somewhere very different. I feel like I keep retracing the same path, but it's not exactly the same. If I allow space for reflection, I discover that I learned a few things on the last lap that eases the next a bit. It may look like I stood still while the earth kept on its orbit, but on closer inspection, I’m a bit wiser (and yes, older). 

So here we are again, in the dark. This is where we rejuvenate. We anticipate the holidays as a time to wind up, but in many traditions these dark days are a call to the opposite. We have a chance to wrap up projects, begin to journey inward, and examine our inner lives. Think of the land - it’s harvest time and then the soil will be prepped for a period of rest.

As Jill Shipway writes on her seasonal yoga blog – 

"The dark is good. It is a place for rest and renewal, the place of healing, wisdom and inner knowing. I use meditation, inner journeying and visualization to get in touch with this place within myself. I am developing my intuition, catching the receptive flashes of insight and messages that seem to jump out of nowhere and have become a natural way of life for me now. This has brought me a deep inner stabilty and inner peace."

I invite you to make peace with the darkness. Not just with the next few days and weeks. Welcome it and learn to anticipate it as sweetly as the light. Because it will be back in one short year.  


Rebekah Papé is a writer, yoga teacher and Riveter member. Her personal wellness practices and teachings are seasonally inspired. Join her on December 20th at the Riveter for Accessible Ayurveda - Welcome Winter.