Sitting in front of the fire late one evening with my husband, I confessed to him my struggle with a desire for more. Not more stuff, but maybe more . . . magic? spirit? joy? cheer? All those words emblazoned on store fronts and shopping bags?
The holiday season is brimming with excess. Excessive shopping, excessive advertising, excessive seasonal decorating, excessive calendar engagements, excessive eating and drinking, and for my husband, excessive overtime. I should have been full, but instead I felt like I had opened a big, fancily wrapped box to find nothing inside. Just a department store prop. A hollow facade. A nasty trick.
Then my husband gave me a few unwrapped ideas and changed my perspective. “It’s actually the season of less,” he said. “It’s winter. The earth is fallow.”
He’s right. There is less daylight, less heat from the sun, less fruits and vegetables in the garden and at the market, less leaves on the trees. Nature is taking a break; maybe I should follow her cue.
So I started appreciating less more. The silhouette of bare branches against a gray sky. The glitter of dew drops on blades of yellowing grass. The pink and orange sunsets sandwiched between shadowy hills and threatening clouds. The lyrical rattle of dried seed pods clinging to a tree. How in this world could I feel empty? Why did I forget to notice the magic all around me?
I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to put the Christmas season behind me. With all the gifts wrapped, unwrapped and put away, with the (slight) slowing down of my husband’s work schedule, with important dates checked off the calendar, we can finally put up our stockinged feet, sit in front of the roaring fire, and truly appreciate the season. Winter, nature in her simplest garb, less in the best sense of the word. May you too enjoy less more. 'Tis the season.