It’s that time of year, finally. The day in the northern hemisphere marked in our emotional calendars as the turning point towards longer, lighter days. The winter solstice is here, and while the day today is bright, the sun barely lifts above the rooftops before it dips and not long after lunchtime the light fades. Tonight sees the longest night and from tomorrow the days will start, slowly initially, and gradually pick up speed as they lengthen. It’s a dark time of year literally, and in other ways too, so the promise of lighter days ahead is important. We are emerging from an extremely cold spell and the temperatures have now risen above zero, for a few days at least. The deep freeze outside is finally thawing and the birds can land on water instead of ice outside my window.
It’s that time of year when we have ten more days left of the year, and for the past weeks I have been reflecting as well as thinking ahead. At this time of year, I reflect back on the words I selected for my three word mantra and review how well they have guided me.
It’s that time of year when I am thinking of the right words to guide me through the coming year. I step back and think of priorities and areas which I need to focus on. I am surrounded by words, as I seek the perfect way to articulate what I aim for in the coming year. For the past weeks I have been jotting down words I see, or hear or read if they chime with my purpose. I have pages in my notebook alive with spider maps of words, synonyms, ideas and random thoughts as I shape the mantra for 2023.
It’s that time of year when I have favourite words, sometimes a reasonably firm choice, sometimes a group of words which have not yet gelled into the mantra or are missing that final perfect word. This year I have three words which may (or may not) emerge as the final choice.
It’s that time of year when I try my words on and wear them before I commit. They need to fit and be comfortable, and we need to trust each other.
And it’s that time of year when I wrap myself in my current words, “unfurl, forage and savour” and appreciate how they have guided and supported me through the year before I place them gently to the side with the words of previous years which have walked alongside me.