We are one week from the lunar new year, and, according to Chinese Medicine, we are one week from spring!
Now, I don’t want you to expect cherry blossoms and robins’ eggs. Spring begins, like everything, underground. It will feel–it will be–undetectable at first. But even as we slog through slush and navigate slick paths, even as we feel the winter sink into our bones, no matter how temperate the climate in our hometowns, spring will be getting to work.
At the Urban Ecology Center the other day, a worker guided some young visitors around, coaxing them to see what isn’t visible. The worker set the scene at the pond: Under the snow, here, there is some ice. And under the ice, very, very cold water. And at the bottom, earth, goopy and dark. Who lives in there, under all that snow and ice? The kids knew: frogs, fish, and bugs. (Do bugs really live in ponds? I could have asked…) And what are they doing, now, in this season? Again, the kids knew: they’re all hibernating. (Do bugs hibernate? Wish I’d asked.)
At the mention of frogs, the kids got excited about tadpoles. The worker made it clear that tadpoles don’t come to play until the ice melts and the water warms up. But it made me think: those tadpoles are on the move right now, just in a different form. If the adult frogs don’t do their hibernating, the tadpoles won’t get their chance.
Oh, how I wish we were hibernators. Like, officially, you know? Alas, we function (???) in all seasons, and our hibernation is only metaphorical. Luckily, I like metaphors about as much as I imagine I’d like hibernating.
In this last week before “spring” starts creeping around, I will do my best to hibernate. Instead of getting specific about goals or plans or strategies, instead of being productive about initiatives or projects (including laundry), I will embrace this last week of hibernation season.
I will nudge my mind to quiet, telling myself, “plans are for next week. I will invite my body to rest, telling myself, “now is the time for stillness.”
In case you don’t know much about my life, let me say: I will not spend this next week reading novels, eating chocolate, and drinking tea (which is how bears hibernate), nor will I spend the week humming while staring at the ceiling, sometimes forgetting to eat (which is how Kellen hibernates). I will go about my real life, and I might even do laundry. My intention, amid the real life-ness, is to find stillness inside and to make restful space for whatever tadpoles–ideas, connections, new structures, understanding–might be hoping to wiggle into my pond this spring.
This week, consider making quiet (and dark, if possible) space for yourself to reflect:
- What is something I create when I have enough strength, support, and space?
- What feels good about creating that?
- Where in my body do I feel those good feelings?
With love and quiet dark,
Ellice and Kellen
P.S. Next Tuesday, the Lunar New Year, is the last lunar letter we will send out. From now on, through Moonstruck, you will have access to lunar letters and to meditations. Sign up if you haven’t yet!