Several years ago, I befriended an ill kitty that was a part of my area’s feral community. He stole my heart and has been an inside cat ever since. His name is Pookie, and he is my constant companion. Since I was a child, dogs have always been a part of my family. So, having a cat as a housemate is a whole new learning experience.
Since Pookie has the nickname of “menace to society,” he is not permitted in my office. It is his favorite place to try to sneak into when I am working. When I open my door, which is hourly, Pookie and I check in with one another. Sometimes, earlier in the day, I can find Pookie sitting in his Cat perch, looking out the window at the birds. Later in the afternoon, he often sleeps in the sun by a window.
Recently, on a dreary, chilly, cloudy day, I went looking for him, and I could not find him. He was not in any of his usual spots, so I tried calling him, wondering where he was. It took a bit to locate him. Somehow, he had managed to knock over my husband’s new laundry basket so that it was laying on its side. Pookie was sleeping inside curled up in a small ball as if he were in a small den. My first thought was that he was ill again. Yet, as time went on, he seemed fine. Then, I noticed a pattern. On darker, colder, dreary days, my husband’s hamper was where Pookie would spend his afternoon naps.
Although Pookie is an inside cat, his wisdom when the weather is colder and darker is to retreat to a dark place for comfort. People used to do this, as well, to be with the “natural gifts” of this time of year. The winter months are about withdrawing, reviewing the previous year, restoration, and dreaming. It is a time to connect to creativity and be connected richly to our inner life. Taking time to welcome the growing darkness allows us to be in the place where Spirit dwells – if we would only stop and take the time to slow down and listen.
What would it be like for you to intentionally take some time outside of the bustle of the holidays to be drawn to the darkness? To take time to be quiet and to restore? It is not an impossibility. Just be purposeful and allow the darkness to draw you in. Like being wrapped up in a warm soft blanket. When you do, you will discover being in more alignment with your own true nature, and the gifts of the darkness will grow within you.
May you and your loved ones be blessed and restored at this sacred time of year.