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As the Last Tangerine Blushes

Winter has arrived

As the last tangerine blush of the sun settles itself to sleep for the night, I note that it is only 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Observing nature and the seasons has been a delightful experience for me. The four seasons are truly experienced here where I live, and it makes me ponder the true meaning of winter in our lives. For a number of months (at times up to 9 months) I experience sub zero temperatures most nights, and cool, windy days that force one to wear layers upon layers to keep warm. I look out my window each morning and a thick, icy frost covers the grass, bejewelling each blade as if it were a crystalline fairy meadow. We dash out to our cars to drive to work and spend at least 15 minutes defrosting the windscreen, fingertips struggling to keep any sensation in them. The gardens do not grow. The flowers do not bloom. The trees have dropped their leaves, forming harsh skeletons, poking out from the earth. We light our fires. We turn on our heaters. We drink hot teas, and we hibernate in our homes. A sense of completion as settled on the land - another cycle of nature has turned.


Fireside pondering

By my fireside, I sit in my chair, surrounded by a cosy, crocheted blanket and take in the experience of it all. Winter offers an interesting perspective. It is often viewed in our society as a season to tolerate - to grin and bear it until summer enlightens us with her warmth once again. However, Winter truly is a season for rest, a period for reflection and, overall, can be seen as the end of life - that is, Death. Winter often makes me ponder death. Now readers, I hope I am not being too macabre for you. Death is after all a part of our lives and whilst technically as soon as we are born, we are already dying - I can assure you I have not been diagnosed with an incurable illness or some such thing. Death fascinates me and makes me ponder that if I must die, have I lived my life to its fullest potential? Bronnie Ware authored a book titled 5 Regrets of the Dying. She was a palliative care nurse who cared for people dying in their home. She had many conversations with her patients, and she summarised the main regrets that people experience in their last days. These include:

  1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
  2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier


Living in alignment

How do these sit with you? Reflecting on these regrets, I already feel I am not living to my fullest potential and all five of these regrets ring true for me. It is in this season of rest, that I am able to define in my life what serves and what does not. I simply list what I currently feel is aligning with me and in turn list what is hindering me. I then make changes to ensure I am living my life the way that I wish. I invite you to journal and see what arises for you. These hibernating months can let us rest, relax and slow down. We can sit, soften and be still. Winter gives us the opportunity to let go of what no longer serves our lives. Surrendering into the death cycle allows change and ultimately allows for new creation and new life to be seeded. As we move towards Winter Solstice on the 22nd of June, we are at the perfect pivot point to choose to live a more aligned life. Alan Watts beautifully shares:


"Nothing is more creative than death, since it is the whole secret of life. It means the past must be abandoned, that the unknown cannot be avoided, that "I" cannot continue, and that nothing can be ultimately fixed. When a [wo]man knows this, [s]he lives for the first time in [her] life. By holding [her] breath, [she] loses it. By letting go, [she] finds it."


Amy Myers

Lore Keeper


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