A dear friend and I were talking about this dark time of year, and how she, like me, experiences the desire to go away right before Thanksgiving and not return until after the new year.
Maybe it is the expectation of the holiday season and all that pressure to be glad and giving and grateful.
It’s not that I’m ungrateful, and while I can’t speak for my friend, I’m close to 100 percent sure that that is true for her also.
It’s just my dark time. I don’t have to try to be different anymore, and it has taken me decades to understand that.
We’re told, directly and indirectly, not to be a “downer”. But it’s not down, really. It’s more like the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone.
Demeter, the goddess of grain and the growing season, was angered and grieved when Hades abducted her daughter, Persephone, and brought her into the Underworld. Zeus had to strike a bargain with Hades and Demeter to let Persephone come back to the living world for part of the year so that Demeter would let crops grow again, or so the myth goes.
Perhaps ceasing growth in the living world was Demeter’s only bargaining chip for her daughter’s return, but Demeter’s powers may have been sapped in her grief and distress – she may have had nothing left to give. She may have needed that time to recover her abilities, and Zeus needed her powers to keep humanity going, so an understanding and remedy was had.
Persephone’s return, bringing back her bond, connection, and belonging with Demeter, revived creativity and growth into the observable world.
Time to refill our reserves is essential. Going deep into my Underworld is necessary, and some of us need more time than others to replenish ourselves.
My work now is to find a retreat that my friend and I can go to each year to disconnect just enough to come back refreshed and ready for what’s next.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh), Making A Way Blog, 2010 – current