Cat’s don’t hibernate, nor do people, but the shorter days and longer nights affect us. No longer am I out the door on Saturday mornings to get to the farmer’s market before Frank runs out of eggs. Everything for tending to the garden is in storage, the leaves in the yard have been raked in over the beds and the harvest is complete.All done with outdoor work I have to find other ways to keep active.
I am spending more time with the cats, but even manipulating toys is exercise for them not for me. I will have to expand my tai chi and qi gong routines to compensate and perhaps add to my yoga. There are still a couple of winterizing chores to do but November’s primary exertion will be splitting wood.
Aside from exercise, the trick to living well in the shorter days and longer nights is to use the longer nights to encourage getting done the indoor work you really don’t want to do when it’s sunny and warm all summer and being out means emjoymeny and fun, It’s also useful to emulate the activities of cold weather, long winter cultures. I have put up my heavy winter curtains to block drafts from the leaky windows. They are in autumn shades of red gold and and green which light up beautifully as the late season sunsets shine through. It stretches fall a little longer. Also, I realized that there are not quite six weeks until solstice and then, minute by minute the days will actually be getting longer. Six weeks will not be long at all. For the first tim in years I am looking forward to the dark half of the year. I hope this new view of the process is a result of concerted work on my part to keep a positive attitude all round.
In truth, January and February are tougher to get through. There are no major celebrations like Thanksgiving and the plethora of holiday goings on through December culminating in NewYear’s Day. The weather is the coldest, too. I am hoping frequent fires in the fireplace and the glow of candles and oil lamps will help. Cozy is the key. The cats enjoy the fires. In past winters I have only had a few, not being able to get a good supply of wood but this years will be different. The cats never ventured too close but just the same when I saw an old screen in a thrift shop this summer I snapped it up. In spite of not having measurements, when I got it home it was a perfect fit. Serendipity and safety. A plus was the bargain price.
The cats have no problem with both my going to sleep and waking earlier. The darkness at 4:00 AM is no different than the darkness at 6:30AM. Cats sleep a lot and as long as there are lots of warm bup beds, thick blankets and deep covers they are happy to curl up in compact balls all around me. Skye, for some reason known only to her, loves to sleep against my shins and on my feet. My feet do get cold and I do not question my good fortune in her preference. Cats also tend to come alive very early in the morning and the earlier I am awake, the earlier they get breakfast. Mi Sun, especially like not having to wake me up.