December Morning in the Garden: Thoughts on Resting

I should have cleaned out my garden back in October, but I was still healing from foot surgery. Now that my foot is technically well enough to handle yard work it’s been raining or super cold. But all that leftover foliage mixed with a cold and misty morning sure makes for some lovely photos.

I love noticing the flow of nature, and for the last few years I’ve tried to emulate its rhythms in my own life. Winter is such an interesting idea–time to rest. In a society where we’re all working and recreating non-stop and trying to launch a side hustle at the same time, rest can be an elusive concept.

I’ve always appreciated the concept of the Sabbath Day and its insistence on slowing down once a week, but I’ve always had music callings at church, which meant Sunday was one of my most busy and dreaded days of the week. Yes, I love music; but that doesn’t downplay the stress and anxiety that comes with organizing and performing said music. I stepped away from and declined all the holiday music commitments this year, and I’m so glad I did. No rehearsals, no dealing with sore throats, no pounding heartbeat before a performance…just calm appreciation of the season.

I was sick last week with some little thing that is now creeping through the entire family. As much as I resent the missed opportunities to get ahead on the Christmas crafting, it sure was nice to Netflix and Nap during daylight hours. I’m reminded of the 12 Week Year insistence of including free time in your schedule (Breakout Blocks), and I’m realizing that I’ve forgotten to do that since my foot surgery. (Sitting around for six weeks straight will make you feel like you’ve had ENOUGH free time, thankyouverymuch.) I suppose I should make a note to include a block of free time in my week. It’d be nice to do some Christmas baking.

But, ugh, the guilt that comes with resting and doing something just for the enjoyment of it. There’s always more I think I should be doing! Unfortunately, I’ve learned over and over again that if you don’t make time to rest and heal, your body will force you into it with sickness or injury. I’m finally accepting this universal truth and making room for it in my own life. The earth rests every winter and the moon wanes every month–why do I think I need less rest than them?

I like the idea of taking a break in the winter to rest and nurture myself and my family. Christmas festivities infringe on that a bit, but the weeks after Christmas are beautifully quiet. The new year invites reflection and planning while wearing snuggly socks and sweaters. We dream up our vision for the coming year while nurturing our bodies with hearty soups, like we’re infusing ourselves for the work ahead. I love the winter months when they’re spent in quiet activities. Taking a break in the winter is such a lovely ritual.

Because March and April will roll around soon enough and next year’s garden will need planting. It’s a lot easier to do when you’re excited about it because you’ve had a break.

(It’s also a lot easier to do if you’ve cleaned up the last year’s garden before your break…my fingers are still crossed that I can get to it…wish me luck!)

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