From the beginning of the harvest season to mid-winter, I'm content to clean up the garden, make preserves and pickles, cook with fall spices, and welcome nature's respite from the growing season. It's comforting to know that even nature needs a break from being productive; a time to sleep and prepare for renewal. I don't look at winter as a death, but instead as a break from the abundance of spring and summer.
After the longest night on winter solstice, the Sun returns. Whether you're religious, (recognizing the Son) or just happy to be in tune with the life in the world around you (the Sun) the almost imperceptible lengthening of days begins to affect all of us. We gain energy, venture outside, and look to the future when the world warms up. I'm not saying I expect spring to come anytime soon, but the longer days make the cold much more bearable.
Right now, I've become filled with a productive, creative energy that I haven't felt since...the autumn started! I'm growing sprouts, juicing veggies, exercising more, planning projects, stitching, organizing, and... wondering if my neighbor will let me put a container of basil under his (much brighter) apartment window!
I won't attribute this business to any sort of New Year's resolution (I can never stick to them for long) but instead to my body being more in-tune with the world around me than my conscious mind. At least this enthusiasm for exercise and productivity is happening conveniently after indulging in the overabundance of treats from the holiday season (Mom, your cookies are too irresistible!)
I guess after noticing all these things happening, I'm going to try to consciously channel some of my energy into self-improvement, projects, and maybe some volunteer work. Now that I'm a bit more settled into my new community, I'd like to get more involved in giving back.
Let me know what kinds of volunteer work you like to do or are passionate about, I'd love to hear!