I found so much meaning during the fall festivals of darkness and light, of connecting with the spirit world, and beginning the winter inner journey of spending time with oneself. And the start of the nourishing mediterranean rainy season. I hoped that the winter holidays would bring more light in the darkness, and with my husband at home, the chance to include him more in our daily rhythm and in setting our family traditions for the years to come. There were so many ups and downs!
Some days, I really felt it, that being in the moment (the goal), the joy in the ordinary day. Other days, usually around 4pm, I feared I had lost my touch and that the days would just be chaotic forever. There were moments of being together in nature that filled us up and energized us. A moment of beauty short-lived, as cries of, I have to go poo! came just as I was starting to relax, sigh. And of course the Christmas commercialism made its appearance, with more toys, sweets, electronics, and late nights than we usually indulge.
Most important, of course, was being together. Both children got to spend luxurious time with Papi and Grandma, so much of it one-on-one. Ooh they ate it up, yummier than chocolates! A little more exposure to all those things outside the quiet bubble of our home, came with a lot more connection with special people. It felt like a miracle that we got quality time with so so many of our best-beloved friends, since even our neighbors can be hard to connect with in the busyness of regular life. I did feel the magic of the season, I guess for the first time since childhood. Sparkly lights, lighting candles, singing every day, caroling, crafting, baking, planning surprises, opening gifts, pots bubbling on the stove, splashing in the rain, cozy tea parties with friends. Our family holiday traditions took shape.
I have the images to prove it was magical, in case those 4pm panic attacks stand out in my memory just a little too much!
Traditions that came naturally from old childhood memories and new ideas from school and friends, and many nature adventures. Note the little guy sleeping under his new quilt made by Grandma.