Stubborn leaves are still clinging to branches. It doesn’t feel as if winter has arrived, but there is a whisper in the air- a reminder that once the leaves fade and fall, snow will hang heavy on these branches. When the weather gets colder, I find myself wanting to retreat into the warmth of my house, finding comfort in writing, reading and reflecting. I enjoy snuggling up by the fire or wrapping myself up in a warm blanket and savouring a hot cup of cider or tea. Taking time to ‘retreat’ is a vital and necessary act, especially when our personal and professional responsibilities are constantly vying for our time, attention and action.
Despite the impulse to stay in bed, we have to wake up in darkness and bundle ourselves up against the cold. We have to brace ourselves for the long commute to work or school, and after a full day of work, we return home in the darkness. While early nightfall can be a source of melancholy for many of us (including myself), I’ve been thinking about how to embrace it instead of fear its arrival.
Here are some of the ideas I came up with:
A candlelit dinner or board game night:
Invite a few friends over for a game, or enjoy your dinner by candlelight
Create with glow-in-the-dark paint:
See how creative you can get in the dark!
At-home movie nights:
Choose a favourite movie trilogy to watch over the course of the week
Reading by candlelight:
Curl up with a favourite book and read by candlelight
Go for a nature walk:
Observe how different flora & fauna look & sound in the dark
Have a storytelling night:
Choose a topic that interests you (for example: “Grandparents” “Travels” “School”) and invite a few friends to share their stories on the topic of your choice.
Have a listening party:
Take out a few of your instruments (or invite a friend/few friends who play music) and have a jam session. If you don’t have access to musicians, make a playlist of your favourite songs and listen/sing along.
Drive to the country and marvel at the stars. Or, just bring a thermos out to your backyard and gaze at the moon.
I’d love for you to share some of your own “embracing darkness” ideas with me!
There is a reverence that accompanies darkness.
A time for reflection and silence.
A time to quieten your thoughts.
I hope that you find your own unique ways of nestling into November.