the art of hibernating…

November 14, 2009

fall mosaic

I found myself in quite a swirl of buzz and goodness surrounding my kindness work last month. It seemed all at once, the universe was sending me lots of contacts and showing me how kindness could be on the map in new ways. This left me with lots of dreaming and trying to gather my courage to look at this thing head on. I talked with lots of folks, had meetings with a PR maven, it was all extremely helpful and enlightening.

During each session I had a chance to uncover parts of myself to see what was inside. Even though a tiny bit of fear still resides in my heart, moments of feeling completely incapable started to fade away which was totally new territory for me. As I listened to the plans and strategies all I could think was, “Oh, I just want to be with my family, I just want to hibernate, I’m tired.” I realized kindness wasn’t going to ask me to stay away from all I love and will guide me in my part of her much larger scheme of love.  She knows the way…

While total hibernation is still a bit of a pipe dream, we have been taking steps towards the holing up this winter in our little brick house. Halloween puppies, less internet, caramel apples rolled in toffee, baking with Lucy, the boys creating board games, jorge and I engrossed in episodes of Mad Men and books…it has been divine. Everyone needs to pull in every now and then, gather all you love close, take in the warmth, go into the cave…

So here are some tips on exploring the art of hibernating:

1. Yummy food is essential. Now is the time for soups and crusty bread, hot chocolate and marshmallows. Return to your kitchen, there is time to reclaim the art of cooking and baking…the sun goes down so early calling you to hearth and home. Dig out old recipes, let things stew, slow can be your guide.

2. More is More. Get a boatload of firewood givng you the freedom to have a fire every night if desired. Stock up on supplies so you don’t have to darken the door of a Costco for the next three months. Buy the case of wine, you get the idea…  

3. Make a Nest. Pull out the quilts and flannel sheets from the atttic, wash everything in the softest detergent. Buy more pillows than any person should have on their bed, till you are almost sitting in the middle. Have blankets, pillows and slippers all over the house inviting you to take a nap, cozy up, making every space inviting for rest and warmth. Use the old blankets and quilts passed down inviting old love to be draped over you.  

4. Paper and Film. Hibernation is the perfect time for stories. It is when we are quiet and have little to distract us that we can absorb and see all that is meant for us. Read books, books, books… in bed, in the bath, at the table. Make space for the stories you have been meaning to get to, the ones you have been avoiding, the kind that have been whispering a call to you. Watch films, old and new, over and over or in marathons. Fill up the queue and fall asleep in every documentary you watch too late into the night, it’s okay. Story is the thing.

5. Be back later. Disconnect from the world, fall off the map, let obligation rest- for just awhile. Don’t answer the phone, auto-reply “out of office” for personal e-mails which will be confusing and kind of funny to friends. Check out to the world and check-in to those who help you unwind and recharge. If you are itching to connect, invite friends to come to you. Your friends will love the yummy food and nests all around.

Hope you have a warm cave to hibernate in and much love to draw warmth and strength from this night…

16 Responses to “the art of hibernating…”

  1. Brian Says:

    Soft sheets? Big, fluffy pillows? Warm soups and crusty bread? I’m sleepy already!


  2. maggi Says:

    Timely, my friend! Despite that pre-dawn rise for the little run, the afternoon-evening has brought on the fire, the nap, the butternut squash risotto, the wine. Next up: Board games and puzzles, bedtime books, and Mad Men (season 2) when the girls sleep!

  3. Tash Says:

    It’s summer over here in Australia right now and you are making me wish for winter so much!

  4. Jenn Says:

    I think I am coming over your house…I need a lesson in retreating and hibernation. And the pillows, crusty bread and soup make it seem so inviting…oh, and let’s not forget the case of wine!

  5. Amber Says:

    Now I know what to put on my Christmas list. Pillows, slippers, and blankets all around. Really, I could use a little hibernation. A little bit of holing up and surrounding myself with family.

    Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  6. Mmmmm that sounds slightly delicious, and also a little scary all at the same time!!

  7. Andrea miami Says:

    AWESOME,AWESOME, AWESOME! Keep up the good work. I really enjoy reading your stuff. Well I’ve been speeding a little bit of kindness more than usual. I brought in American Runs on Dunkin Coffee for my 4th and 5th grade teachers. Plus I ask my principle at my school if we can do the sidewalk messages for the kids that are retaking the FCAT. She thought it was a great idea along with getting all the teachers to write their favorite, heritage,or low budget recipe in order to make a recipe book to sell for this class (first Global Studies class)seeing I not in charge of it. It would be a shame if that student could go because of financail reasons. If you want to help add recipes to the book let me know?

  8. Ann Says:

    I’m so with you on this.

  9. Annie Says:

    What excellent ideas! Even visualizing them makes me feel more at peace!

  10. rachel awes Says:

    LOVE your flower globe and your spirit that runs through here!

  11. Bahieh Says:


    I’m one of your readers and I’ve just added you to my blogroll.

    You can visit me at:


  12. Linni Says:

    oh wow! What a beautiful post… i’m tired too and i want to hibernate too…mmmmmmm…..i need to start planning my hibernation! xx

  13. celicamacho Says:

    In such a fast paced time that we live, your words ring very true. We can’t get back to our yesterdays, but we can certainly slow down in order to enjoy our “present”.

    Thank you for the comfy reminder. 🙂

  14. Kimberly Says:

    I just found a link to your blog from the article on Pleasant Living’s website – you are a wonderful writer and I enjoy your words very much. Glad to see I’m not the only one who just wants to go into the cave for the winter months! It’s nice in here, plenty of hot chocolate 🙂

  15. […] it feels like the dark is moving in fast. A little faster than I expected. I find myself wanting to hibernate. It is a lovely time, to go in and be closer together with people we love. The only tricky part is […]

  16. […] of weeks. I thought I was finished with projects and plans for the year and was settling in to hibernate   when 2 e-mails and a few calls came in. …the kind of calls that fall into your lap and are […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: