Well, I certainly experienced one of the less pleasant aspects of winter last week when I was struck down by a nasty flu bug. I spent 5 days in bed, and so did the three other members of my family; it was as if our house was in hibernation. We slept – and slept some more, occasionally getting up for a drink or something to eat or letting the dog out into the garden. And then the flu passed and over the past couple of days we have all managed to get up from our beds and start going about our daily business of school and work.
I don’t know what a hibernating bear feels as it emerges from the depths of its winter sleep to rejoin the world. But it probably does not panic because it has been unable to get a birthday present for a family member sorted in the time it was asleep, or deliver a client report by the agreed deadline or keep promoting a creative workshop it is organising in the very near future. Which was my experience.
As human being we are very much a part of nature and yet we have cultivated a lifestyle that by and large distances us from the natural world. The demands on our time, our energy and our performance have become unceasing and in the Age of the Internet the speed at which we are expected to function is way beyond anything our ancestors ever knew, even just a generation ago. There is rarely any space built into our lives which allows for the natural ebb and flow of existence. So we can’t even be ill without feeling guilty for letting other people and ourselves down.
I’m well again now and planning and refining (and, of course, promoting) my Winter Dreaming workshop on Saturday 9 February. And as I do, I continue to wonder how best we can find the right balance between functioning as part of the modern economic world that keeps us family fed, clothed and with a roof over our heads and just ‘being’, ready to go with the flow of nature.
For more information on Winter Dreaming and to book your place, go to my facebook events page: https://bit.ly/2AURbB2, where you will also find the details of three further seasonal workshops I am running this year.