The winter solstice is nearly upon us. Over these past few years I’ve found myself decoupling from the frenzy of Xmas. Perhaps it’s because our children are now grown adults with lives of their own; or because my elderly relatives no longer all congregate together so that I no longer cook a giant meal; or that other family members are now spread out across the world more; or that I’m tuning more into myself and the land. Whatever the reason I find a deep melancholy permeates life from early December until the solstice and there’s little I can do about it. During this time I seriously hibernate: I eat twice as much, drink more wine, am more rubbish that usual at staying in touch, and don’t have the energy to do any exercise. I used to fight this, but being in the van away from it all means I don’t have to anymore. It’s not even that I get introspective – it’s more that I become quite numb, I don’t really want to think about, or deal with anything. Sending an email takes a horrible amount of effort. This blog is the only thing I can manage and I work hard to maintain it so that I can prove to myself that I actually did something. Being on the road helps because new vistas always excite the soul. Anyway it’s the solstice tomorrow and already I’ve woken this morning feeling lifted – there’s a creative excitement in the mind and a feeling that some energy reserves are returning. I can feel my appetite for food and drink balancing out again and ideas starting to form. By Christmas Day I usually feel that this period of transformation or evolution is over and don’t want to indulge in overeating or drinking so much. By New Year I’m ready to nurture last autumn’s seeds, to begin dreaming again, of tiny tree buds and new shoots, of snowdrops and sun.
Photo by Andy Garside.