I love the seasons here in the Arctic. Each has its own gifts, its own colors, its own flavor.
And, if I’m behind honest, the first day of the transition is humbling, to say the least! You’re pulling out gear from storage, remembering how to layer for every situation, and smacking your forehead when you forget something.
When winter blows in, there are two phases: Permanent jacket weather (easy transition — temps in the 20s and teens!), and the deep freeze (less easy transition — when daytime high temps hover around -10!).
This week, the deep freeze set in.
Weather is the main news headline in our house. When a shift is in the forecast, all focus is on prep. And prep for Deep Freeze 2021 lasted forever! It’s weeks behind schedule, which made it feel even more like a bandaid being ripped off. We monitor fuel levels, fill water from the creek for (possibly) the last time, insulate propane lines, add straw in the dog boxes, add chicken fat to their nightly feast for more calories, assure firewood is split and stacked — all things that ideally happen in the short daylight hours between 10am and 4pm … which is ever decreasing by 12 minutes of light per day, all the way to Polar Night and the solstice.
All this, plus daily life; work, coffee, testing new recipes, and dog mushing — winter’s BIGGEST perk! We are also putting the final touches on our cozy Yoga Dome in preparation for next month’s Winter Solstice yoga retreat.
It’s hard not to get overwhelmed… which is when I turn to the unique gifts of the season. Lady Winter does not disappoint.
Whether lit by a few hours of sun or a headlamp after hours, the snow sparkles during the first deep freeze. A landscape that was once covered in tundra and tussocks is now blanketed by feet of snow, and sparkles in every direction. Even with very few hours of daylight (which will transition to no sun at all at the end of November!), there is light everywhere. The crystalline snowflakes piled high reflect light in all directions — Winter puts on her best sequined party dress for her full arrival… and we can, too.
Winter dresses up to go inward.
Although it’s always a little uncomfortable, “going in” is really the only way to go as a yogi. If we aim to evolve and grow, it’s imperative that we embrace the chance to check in with our inner environment. And Nature supports us in this goal, especially this time of year! Although the holidays can feel a little crazed, if we pause, breathe and notice the sequins, we see that Winter naturally encourages us to stay inside a little longer, snuggle up to those we love, and cook hearty soups with fresh baked sourdough. If we take her hint, we see there’s no better time than to embrace this time of reflection.
Put on your sparkles as the temps dip low… dress up to dive into yourself this winter.
And if you want to add about 7 layers, c’mon up to an Arctic Hive retreat. We’d love to have you!