Blog

The Return of the Light

This has been a hard year for almost everyone I know. Although the pandemic has been shared collectively, there is a uniqueness to each of our experiences.

Some of us have lost someone dear to us and have not been able to say goodbye. Others are separated from those we love and have missed birthdays, weddings, funerals, and holiday time. And then there are jobs that have vanished, anxiety that is heightened, and the sense of a community fractured.

The human routines that kept us connected to others, pre-pandemic, have been uprooted and for many, I think this has led to a feeling of being ungrounded. There’s been a loss of a sense of safety. Perhaps trust. Maybe even hope.

Personally, I’ve been drawing a lot of comfort from nature and the cycles of nature during this time. How the Earth keeps spinning, how the seasons unfold. The gorgeous predictability of nature when nothing else seems certain anymore.

A month ago, my partner and I planted 100 bulbs in our yard. More than in any other year, this act felt like a sacred and deeply hopeful one. I silently thanked each bulb for the delight it will bring, and heartily wished that we will all be in a better place when the sun does its work and they burst to life in the Spring.

This knowing—that the light will return and the Earth will be green again—brings me so much comfort. I can’t help but see this time of year metaphorically (perhaps especially in pandemic-ridden 2020) and am looking so forward to watching the days get longer, moment by moment after the Winter Solstice on December 21.

If we’re open to it, the Solstice offers us an opportunity to reflect and to re-ground ourselves. It gifts us with a chance to bring the light back into our thoughts and our lives and to be intentional as we move into a new year.

In the spirit of sharing light, I’d like to offer a few writing prompts that you could do as a Solstice ritual. Find a cosy spot and light a candle before contemplating these questions:

 

  • What were your biggest losses this year? Be compassionate with yourself as you acknowledge what, or who, you are grieving.

 

  • What do you need or want to release and let go of moving into 2021?

 

  • What do you want to invite in? What do you want to create more of in the next year of your life?

 

If you’re keen to do this kind of writing in the company of other women, join me for “Write From Your Heart” on Thursday, December 17 from 6:30-9pm (Atlantic time). It is normally an in-person gathering in Halifax but this month, due to Covid restrictions, I’m excited to hold it as a Zoom video call and welcome women from other parts of the world.

Check it out and sign up here. I would be so delighted to see some of your faces and hear your voices and your writing.

Sending light and love,

—Renée

Not Myself Today

A few weeks ago, when Covid-19 began keeping us all home, my partner Malve dug an old mental health button out of the junk drawer. It said “Not Myself Today.” In case any of us

Read More

A Time to Trust

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding that time has a very different quality during this period of isolation. It’s more than not remembering the date or the day of the week. There seems

Read More

Writing What Is

This morning, I woke from a lovely dream. I was at the beach on a sunny day. There were kids and friends and sun-warmed bodies, lying close together. There was laughter and warmth and playfulness.

Read More

A Unifying Event

Nine days suddenly feels like a lifetime. Nine days ago, I sat in a room with 15 other women for an in-person workshop. We wrote with our elbows nearly touching, we laughed, some cried, we

Read More

Writing Your Life

At workshops and retreats, in emails and phone calls, and over cups of tea, many women have told me they are interested in writing the story of their life. But they also admit they’re terrified. And

Read More

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Surprising Advice

Author Elizabeth Gilbert came to town this weekend, delivering her “Big Magic” creativity workshop to a huge Halifax crowd. While I expected her to talk about writing, and about being creative, I was surprised by

Read More

Off-grid with intention

Each summer, my partner and I have one week together where it’s just the two of us. No kids. No cats. No work. No responsibilities other than feeding ourselves. We’ve gone on road trips, we’ve

Read More