As the holidays come around I always feel the urge to simplify and go inward. I stay far from the commercial fray. The origin of holidays is holy days so another interpretation is to do what makes us feel holy, happy and whole. To each their own!
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the extraordinary artist faires, the glow of the season and sporadic merriment and revelry. Despite an occasional dance into the feverish drumbeat many are running to, I return home to myself & family, with quiet happiness and appreciation for the simple joys. I relish soups and sauces, long evenings reading, cozy by candles or watching an inspiring movie. I savor shops more like museums, where I get ideas and appreciate beauty. We are so overloaded with choices it’s a gift to simplify.
Above is the late fall clubhouse constructed by grandchildren and my husband.
I have found as I advance in age and experience that my goals are more about inner contentment than outer accomplishment. Certainly I work towards outer achievements, however as I nurture my inner life, the awareness of what I truly want emerges. You’ve heard it before and it begs continued emphasis; happiness is an inside job. This is the perfect season to glean your inner treasures.
The garden is mostly in slumber which is Nature’s ideal replenishment. Hikes on a non-rainy day around town or in the woods reward the pilgrim with lichens, mosses and ferns against the backdrop of bare swaying trees. Evergreen plants sparkle green underfoot, The crunch of twigs and leaves is the music to our walking and we listen for tiny animals scurrying away.
When I’m with my 4 year old gregarious granddaughter she is delighted with every nook and cranny, every rock and big leaf maple to collect. She climbs fallen boughs with abandon. The woods are a child’s best playground and for adults they offer a safe harbor of possibilities and imagination.
From November 1, to January 15th, there are approximately 29 holidays observed by 7 of the world’s major religions (and many more by the minors). Enjoy and celebrate whatever practice/belief/custom meaningful to you. Just remember others may have a different tradition so it’s best not to assume it’s the same as yours!