Happy New Year! Are your resolutions still alive? I’ll let you in a secret – I didn’t make any. Here’s the thing about the new year: no matter our intentions, we don’t magically become new people at the stroke of midnight. We are the same souls on December 31 that we are on January 1. I think “new year, new you” is a marketing ploy. Yes, there’s something satisifying about starting a new adventure/goal/hobby/diet/etc. at the beginning of a new month and year, and that certainly has a sense of poetic romanticism, but the truth is this: it’s still winter.
If we take a page from history, winter was a season of hibernation and hunkering down. It was the season that all the other seaons prepared for, a season of quiet steadiness. A season of rest. A season of gratitude, simplicity, and a focus on the people within the walls of our homes.
The season lives between the Winter Solstice in December and the Spring Equinox in March. MARCH. By nature’s standards, we shouldn’t be up to anything until March. Why are we embracing pressures to suddenly become better versions of ourselves in January, in the middle of what should be a season of rest and quiet?
This year, in lieu of specific resolutions, I’ve decided to adjust my mindset to flow more in line with the seasons. I want to experience a true season of wintering, followed by a season of growth and hustle (spring), a season of play (summer), and then finally a season of preparation (autumn).
At the start of January I journaled bullet points of what a season of wintering might look like for me. Here are some of those thoughts:
Abstract: Rest, underground, cozy, intimate, learning, soaking in nourishment, finding peace with the darkness, hygge
Action: Read, pray, study, absorb, abide, settle, prioritize, write, rest
I’m calling 2024 my Garlic Era. Yes, garlic. Did you know that the life cycle of garlic plant is about nine months? Garlic is planted in the fall around Halloween and it stays in the ground through the cold season – wintering – until it sprouts in the spring and has a final harvest in the summer – which when cured, becomes the seed for the next crop. When left in peace, garlic will bloom. However, it’s more beneficial when the farmer cultivates, prunes, and harvests different parts of the plant at different stages of the plant’s life, which are literally defined by the seasons of the year.
To paraphrase Ecclesiastes 3, there is a season for everything.