We have spent three seasons frequenting Reed Creek Park. We watched the humid days of summer turn into a crisp, brisk breezy fall. The migrating birds have passed over and all is quiet there now. You can easily walk past the cattail pond without hearing the chirp and immediate splash of a frog escaping your danger.
Only a few Red-winged Blackbirds traipse through the cattails. The blossom of the reed is no longer tall, slender and tight. The cattails are furry and fluffy and sharing their seed with the wind and water and ground.
I think about the animals. How well they hide. The past few days have been warm. I expected to see more life there today.
But, all was still.
No matter the temperature, they know that the daylight hours are short and they should rest. It isn’t worth the energy expended to come out of hiding and so they stay put until the light is brighter and stronger and warmer.
This sounds like my struggle. It’s difficult to get moving on these days with limited light. The sun came up this morning at seven-thirty and will go down before five thirty. In comparison to the long days of summer when we have sunlight all the way until nine o’clock, this feels extreme.
I used to think it was the cold that made me feel paralyzed.
Now, I realize that it’s the lack of sunshine.
Have you ever noticed that the leaves begin to turn colors in the fall long before the nights cool down, at least here in the deep south, anyway? They are reacting to the shortening of days.
And so we’re almost half way through this year’s spell of hibernation. The winter solstice is December 21st. Only three more days and we’ll begin the reawakening. One day at a time, we’ll inch closer to days full of sun, energy and rebirth. It’s hard to believe we’re already so close to the turning point.
Just knowing that the days will soon be longer makes it easier to fulfill my daily jobs. I have hope. I know the time is drawing close.
We still have a good bit of cold to enjoy this winter. Surely we’ll have at least another eight weeks of jackets, boots and fireplace warmth. Our stash of firewood dwindles a little more each day. Comedy will definitely need to go out scouting for some more wood before the winter closes. We’ll be reading after-Christmas stories and traditional first of the year books on goal setting while propping our feet on the hearth with a cat in our laps.
We’ll take one day at a time, enjoying each one for what it brings us whether it be rest, still and quiet or energy, activity and movement. There is a time for all things. For now, we rest.