During this time of year I often think of the story of Demeter. In Greek mythology Demeter’s daughter, Persephone was taken by Hades into the underworld. During this time Demeter searched for her endlessly and since she was the goddess of the harvest and growth all of the vegetation died. Hades finally agrees to let Persephone go during certain times of the year. When Demeter has her daughter things bloom and grow; when Persephone is banished back into the underworld everything wilts and dies. This cycle continues over and over again.
I struggle with the idea of winter. I look around me at the beautiful colors on the trees and I love it so much; this vibrant symphony and crescendo of colors that brighten our world… It is visually intoxicating to me. But with each leaf falling from the trees and each pile of colors swept and raked away, I feel incredibly saddened. With less sunshine to wash our faces and bitter cold that slows the blood, I know that we are going into Winter. I begin to get nervous and my instinct is to retreat from the world until Spring.
I know there are many people out there who feel similarly during this time. I hope if you are one of those people reading this that you can find some color and light during this next season. Sometimes we have to create our own. I find that I am more creative and pursue more artistic endeavors during this time, I think it’s how my psyche deals with the dull and lifeless days. I seek to create something beautiful and colorful to look at because I am having withdrawals from Autumn. Unfortunately I feel that I am much like Demeter; I become saddened during this time, but I’m not quite sure what I am grieving.
I do see the value in having this respite. It is a time for reflection and a great time for spiritual work. And when we come out of our caves in the Spring and feel the sunshine on our skin and everything begins to bloom, it feels victorious.