Today is my first downtime day since the start of the month. The first day I haven't had to be somewhere or doing something, just about the first day I haven't had to get up with the alarm clock. I just don't have it in me to keep going and going and going. A lot of the things I have been doing have been lots of fun, I've been out more this past few weeks than I have been most of the year and I've enjoyed it all. But I'm more than ready now for a few days of absolutely nothing.
As these things go, I've been going through another wave of finding it difficult to cope with the grief of losing my sister the last week or so and it was a bittersweet moment when I rang her oldest daughter during the week to wish her a happy birthday and she told me that her boyfriend had proposed that morning. Such wonderful news and she sounded so happy (and surprised!) but at the same time knowing my sister doesn't get to see that. But life goes on.
Yesterday evening I went to one of the "Jahreskreis" (annual cycle) rituals that I went to a few times a couple of years ago. It was, of course, a winter solstice ritual, mainly just meditating on the things that have happened in the past year and then slowly the lights were dimmed and we listened to music (Bach's Air on a G String) and finally the light was 'awakened' again by the candle in the middle of the floor being lit, then each of us taking the candle we had brought with us, the first person lighting her candle from the central one and then the person beside her lighting from her candle, the next woman from her candle and so on around the room until everyone's candle was lit. Then there was some more music, a short meditation (on having lit our inner candle), some dancing and then sharing of gifts and when it was all over a shared meal. I've really enjoyed these rituals before and while I didn't really get as much out of it as I expected/hoped for/remembered, it was nice to have gone. I felt like I needed a cut-off point between the hectic of the last few weeks and the coming quieter time that I long for and want to properly enjoy.
I have properly flopped now though and am taking the day to have a duvet day and do absolutely nothing. I stayed in bed until after four o'clock, watching DVDs and having a long chat on the phone with my sister in Australia. I've moved as far as the couch now but that's as far as I plan on going. Tomorrow is time enough to get up and start doing again. For now, I'm going to light a bunch of candles and try and remember that although it might not seem like it now, today will be a teeny tiny bit longer than yesterday and before we know it, the days of getting up in the dark and coming home in the dark will be just a memory again.