In the Winter of Things Unsaid
By Z Zoccolante
This weekend at my side spa job, Cannon in D plays through the hallways – my wedding song, as I drift back in memory the strange pictures as though they were yesterday but of a person I almost don’t remember.
I can piece her together like watching a movie of someone I was close with, like friendships that have drifted apart with distance and growth, untethered from the mooring, a ship to uncharted shores.
It’s been cold lately, an unwelcomed chill in the air. This week my purple snow coat drifts around me like a bear skin as my client asks, “Are you cold,” with a smile on her face.
“Very,” I reply smiling back.
In the chill of fading winter, I notice my body craves hibernation. My body rejects the thought of running or brief yoga of the recent past as it wants to curl into dark, hot showers and feather blankets and small heated rooms fully clothed with my beanie on. I crave cottages in the tropics and memories of beaches and sun through my closed eyelids, afternoons of reading books in my bikini in the small stretch of green grass outside my back door.
Winter makes me want to be absent from my life just a bit and you might have noticed in my lack of thoughts the last few weeks. It’s not that I have none but I’ve noticed how during certain seasons things seem more private.
In the winter hibernation feels like honey curling me to sleep in a pea pod wrapped in a tiny ball. And even when it’s frozen outside or the chill in the air causes contraction, the world keeps its spin.
There’s been lots of personal processing – things around friendship and love, a family member who was in the hospital and the reality that one day we all leave this earth and no day is ever promised. There has been a change in how much I have emotional space for others because of the therapy work I do every day. I’ve noticed that I gravitate towards laughter, lighter TV shows (even though I love the darker ones), the ones that stay on the semi surface and make me giggle.
The depths I’m capable of are known to me and yet I share them with few. The time I have has become more precious and I structure it differently as though my time were worth valuable increments that I cannot get back.
In my absence of outward writing or presence I felt a tinge of guilt for now showing up. The truth is that I had a lot to say, just not publicly. And I felt inauthentic writing some crap when I really wanted to write about the things in my heart – but the truth was I didn’t want to share them except with a few.
And then I realized that it’s ok. Sometimes you have to keep things close and that’s ok. Sometimes you want to keep things close.
Sometimes you want to put your life into little cubbyholes like we used to have at school when we were kids. Each one contains a part of your life and together they’re like what my friend used to call a rich tapestry, woven together to make our world.
So if any of you are feeling the honey pull of hibernation or the desire to keep things close I just want to give you permission to do so.
Rest your body. Rest your soul. Share only the things you want with the people you choose.
And in the chill, enjoy the slumber. Enjoy the ways in brings out different parts of you, the ways it pulls your energy into yourself and the ways in which you gather closer to others for warmth and community.
Each season of life brings its gifts for us. Enjoy the gifts in the inner winter slumber.