December is a bitter-sweet month. The bitter comes because it is the end of our bed and breakfast season. Guests with smiling faces no longer wind their way down our drive, the vegetable garden and flowers of summer have long gone, the oranges and reds of the beautiful fall foliage that adorned the hollow just three weeks ago lay brown, cracked and broken like carcasses scattered across the forest floor. We have been weaned from fifteen hours of glorious sunshine everyday down to less than ten and have been given fourteen hours of darkness in it's place.
I find that the sweetness comes in wisps and slow dribbles through the winter months. We still have lots to do. It's not like we can just be like a black bear and hibernate until spring. There is plenty of work, maintenance and repairs, we still answer phones and emails for next years reservations, make changes and updates to our website and other's I support, cut fire wood, stack fire wood, split fire wood, volunteer in our community, visit with family and friends. Sharon still works three days a week in an office about thirty minutes away. There's always a new building or garden project too... the wonderful list goes on and the wheel keeps moving about the same speed, it's just now we can let a few thing slide a little. We don't have to keep our home as immaculate as we like to have it during the B&B season. We can leave some things on the counter, old boots by the front door, dust from the fireplace can settle on the mantel and we can root and borrow into our winter nest.
At first I'm resentful of the longer darkness and the sunshine that we've been robbed of, but eventually my body adjusts and I remember how special this time really is. For me winter becomes the time for healing, for re-alignment, and for reflection. It's in the darkness of early morning when this magic happens.
In addition to just waking up, sipping a cup of Community coffee, and reading one of the books that I promised I would read all year, I also love to wake up, sit by the fire and just be still. I'm a bit rusty at it now and today I have to keep retraining my mind to come back to the present and not think about what I need to do today. "Breath in slowly and exhale through your nose." I silently remind myself. Five nice breaths later and I'm beginning to feel that familiar sense of grounding and try to continue. Then out of the blue I hear that voice in my head say "so do you think you'll have a little mulberry jelly on some of Sharon's home made bread later or just butter....." WHAT?!!! "Breath in slowly and exhale through your nose." I nudge myself again. Ten minutes later and at least five more valiant tries, I decide that the other voice I was hearing was actually God saying that I was a bit hungry and needed some bread to soak up the pot of coffee that I had finished.
When music begins its birth within me it typically starts with the instrument, followed by a melody that will form in my head and later words. When I experiment with the melody I always just ramble and make up words and gibberish. Once I like the melody and have it ingrained enough, I move on to the real words. Today the gibberish that came out about knocked me off my seat. I immediately went and grabbed the Ipad and began recording and the song I am sharing today is what my higher power wanted to sing.