Enchanting The End, Blessing The Beginning

December 7, 2022

by Hagar Harpak

What do you branches grow toward?

Where do the branches of your heart reach toward, as December swiftly prances along the road of the End?

What soil do you let your mind grow roots into, as you hear the song of this year’s departure?

What do you nourish your body with, as the nights stretch long and the days turn colder? 

Do you feel a little sentimental during this season? Do you give yourself enough moments to feel the tugging on your soul strings? Or do the demands of the world press too hard against your life, that you don’t even have enough time to feel or think or question. 

The plant and animal worlds are turning inward right now. There’s a slowness, a quiet, gentle hum, a fierce need to conserve energy, lay low, and rest. Our culture revolves around productivity and consumerism, and this season tends to be busy on steroids. 

Exhale. 

It may be difficult to take the reins and lead the rhythm into the darkness of Autumn’s end, to resist the pressure of endless tasks that must be completed before the holidays, to bring a softer quality to our work and our kids and the recitals and the shows and the home and all the things that must be checked off. But we can bring a slower breath to this crescendo, a softer presence to the cacophony of modern life’s demands. We can extend a gentler piece of ourselves toward the stress that we are riding. 

Inhale into your heart space and hold this gift of trees in there for a moment. Before you exhale, let yourself feel and be with the patience of trees, with their timeline… so much longer than ours… Allow theirs to blend with yours for a moment. You have time. We have time. 

I don’t know about you, but rewiring my relationship with time is a jungle of wounds and healing and limitations and possibilities. 

It’s not easy for me to take it slow. Patience isn’t my strength. I’ve kicked and screamed and cried for years over projects and goals that lie dormant underground. I’m learning the art of slow simmer. But I am no master. 

Reality is entangled; the collective and personal, the grand and the tiny. Our needs, what we feel is our purpose, our confusion, our creativity, what the world expects of us, who we want to be, our nature, our ego, our questions, our questioning, who we turned out to be, how it’s always been, how we want to carry on, how the world views us, what we want to offer, what we’ve missed out on, where we’re lost, what we embody, how we speak to ourselves, our fears, our ambitions, our inhibitions, our dreams, our disappointments, where we ended up, what we might begin. We are a complex network.

Being with complexity is one of my passions. I know that’s a little weird, but here we are. Paradox and ambiguity are needed for depth. I’m into depth. I know you are too.

Sometimes the turbo busy thing has to do with muse. Muse fills your life with purpose. And if you answer her call, she might fill your schedule and to do list as well. 

So… Another reminder to breathe…

Deep slow inhale to receive the inspiration that flows to us from different directions. Mindful pause to feel the space between things, the sacred moment before the next thing. Slowly exhale, and touch the world with gentleness, to offer it the authenticity of your heart, and the gift of your art.  

I’m trying to be present with the paradox of wanting to grow, and wanting to go slow, the urge to create, and the need to listen to the soft song of soil, the loud call of muse, and the quiet space she needs in order to show up. Learning to hold the ambiguous truth of being human, animal, earthy, cosmic, made of a wide and complex net of woven threads. 

How is this season mingling with your heart’s longings, with your life’s needs, with your body’s requests, and with your creative impulse? What are you touched by? How do you touch it back? 

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