Tis a Season to be jolly!

It’s Xmas time again, and for the upteenth time I can’t get over how pressurised this time is. The media hype about the ‘season to be jolly’ can get to the best of us. It is lovely to have a ‘reason’ to be jolly and to spread Christmas cheer, but somehow I can’t help but notice how devoid of cheer this period seems to be. People are bombarded by adverts to get this, that, and the next thing. There is less emphasis on quality and more on quantity. There are adverts of ‘give your child an alcohol free christmas this year’ What is it all coming to? I consider myself to be a generally upbeat person when the spirit moves me, however at this time, I just keep feeling like the things that one doesn’t have get highlighted e.g for people without families near them the absence is so pronounced that instead of cheer there is just gloom. Do we need the pressure?

I have always loved any excuse to laugh and be merry, yet lately I feel slightly jaded because the innocense of things seem to be diminishing. Gone are the days when Christmas was about watching the sun dancing at dawn, observing it’s effects on the cows in the kraal. Hearing the hustle and bustle of family members preparing all manner of dishes, delicacies such as jelly and custard.

The day would be characterised by children donning their best clothes, brand spanking new items for a change. Every one would for once, feel absolutely beautiful in their new bought items. There’d be  promise of something good in the air. The local photographer would be ready to capture the moment with his trusted camera. All around there would be genuine  cheer!

The simplicity of those days lended to the magical feel of the day.

Those were simpler days of yester- year, and just as everything comes and goes, so does the meaning of things.

What does this Christmas time mean to people? I guess it differs from person to person, I am glad to be with my loved ones and wish I could have more of my dear people around me. I hope for love and laughter for everyone known and unknown.

Most of all I celebrate the innocence of children as this time is especially magical for them.

Merry Christmas to all! May each day be filled with joy,love and laughter regardless of what calender day it is. May all heartaches be forgotten and may everyone’s cup of kindness be filled to the brim.

May this time bring goodness to us all.

Cheers!

Hibernation

Sometimes, for one reason or another, one finds themselves retreating inwards or even having already retreated inwards to another place within . Somehow this process tends to begin to take place before one is even aware of it. By the time you recognise what is happening, you probably will have been going on as if nothing untoward was particularly afoot, until something happens to snatch you right out of your silent reverie. It is only then when it hits you that you will realise what is taking place. By this time it will be clear that yes, somewhere along the line, you burrowed into a little hole as a reaction to outside influences.

Having now relocated to the Northern hemisphere, I find myself gradually being pulled into what I imagine is a normal hibernation period that animals must go through during the harsh weather conditions of winter. As we all know humans are not at all that different from animals.

At the mention of Finland, often times the first question that is asked by people who have never been to Finland is ‘Don’t people freeze in that kind of cold?’ Weather is seemingly the biggest talking point for most people about Finland. I can understand why that is.I myself, got a shock to my system the first time I experienced 22 hours of daylight during the midsummer. I had a whale of a time basking in the evening sun and watching the sunset just before midnight, that I thought it would go on forever. Such was the magical nature of that phenomenon.

Seasons change as time marches on. Since the spectacular summer, I have gone on to witness nature metamorphosising right before my very eyes where the previously green leaves gradually turned into new shades of brown, rust, mauve, orange and even red. The ever tall trees of our neighbourhood transformed to a kaleidoscope of colours that rivalled any I have yet laid eyes on over the years. I was enchanted!

The playfulness of autumn lasted only for a short spell as before I could realise what was happening, there was suddenly a distinct chill in the air. At first I recognised the familiar chill as winter cold, to my dismay I was made aware that actually what I recognised as the winter cold was not at all winter, but still autumn weather. With this knowledge, I realised that I was about to truly experience the onset of a Finnish winter in the only best way possible, by experiencing it for myself.

It has been weeks since I was told that winter was still a good few weeks ahead of us, yet my body and Spirit have been telling me otherwise. As said when one goes into hibernation it is a process that unfolds without any fanfare.

It sneaks up on you and catches you almost unawares. No matter how it comes, the timing is never wrong. All that one can do is to respond to the call for there is no substitute for the sense of security that one finds in the inner sanctuary of one’s inner space.

So in response to the frequently asked question ‘No, people do not freeze here even if the temperatures drop to far below zero degrees- fortunately where nature falls short technology picks up’

The arrival of snow and its subsequent presence over the last couple of weeks, makes me think that maybe it is time for me to welcome the dawn of the Finnish winter and also to embrace the soundless call to my Self to retreat inwards.