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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Introspection

  I am not a summer person. While everyone else might be out at the beach, at barbecues, hiking, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors I'm avoiding the bright sunlight and heat by holing up inside. I've always been like this; I was the kid in high school who spent my summers staying up until 4 a.m. reading and watching re-runs of classic tv shows and bad b-movies. Each year I dread the returning heat, the oppressive humidity, the bugs and glaring sunshine. Winter is my season, my time to get out and explore the world and enjoy nature - summer is something to be endured. However I have always tried to force myself to go along with the general expectations, the wider view of summer and the season's energies. People talk about summer as a time for planting and growing, and despite my own desire to do the opposite for many years I pushed against my inclinations. I planted when I wanted to harvest. I nurtured and grew when I wanted to withdraw and contemplate.
  I've been thinking about this a lot the past two days as I celebrated Midsummer and as my area experiences a heat wave that has rendered the outdoor atmosphere into something reminiscent of an oven. Online people are talking about the time of year as a time of activity and exploration, in contrast to winter as a time of introspection and withdrawal. What I've come to realize is that for myself these cycles are reversed;   to me summer is a time of introspection, when the pace of everything slows down and I look within to sort through what to keep and what to let go of. Fall is a time for returning to the world, for setting new goals as I wait for the leaves to turn and seek the scent of woodsmoke in the air. Winter is when I get out the most, walking, hiking, exploring; a time to begin new projects and add effort to old ones. And spring is when things begin to slow down, although there is a rush to finish up what's been begun.
   I'm moving into that time of introspection now, assessing and reviewing my life, trying to decide what is worth keeping and what needs to be let go of. One thing I've already come to realize - no surprise to anyone who has been reading my recent blogs - is that I need to start appreciating and honoring my own cycles and patterns instead of trying to fit myself into other people's preconceived cycles. What works for other people may not work for me, but there is no reason I can't find value in my own natural rhythms and learn to appreciate what does work for me. As I move back into an American Wiccan framework I can appreciate the larger concepts of the accepted cycles of the year while simultaneously honoring my own energetic cycles. 
  I am not a summer person, and that's okay. I will spend the next few months in introspection and emerge in the fall ready to move forward with renewed energy and purpose.

original pencil drawing, M. Daimler, copyright 1999


  1. Never try to force your inner clock to fit in what other people assume is the "right" cycle. I'm a summer person, I get depressed during the winter but my husband is just like you. The winter is his time to shine and when he tries to suppress that he ends up hurting himself and the people around him.

  2. In reading through your old blog posts, I'm now realizing that you can also draw? Seriously, is there anything you can't do? Beautiful drawing!