welcoming in the dark and quiet

tea write time’Tis that time of year when the holiday magic happens, and also when the mania, moodiness and melancholy strike hard. Over the years, fluctuations in mood during this time were sometimes for known reasons, i.e., challenges to health of or loss of loved ones, or money or work or relationship challenges. Sometimes though, the holidays are, well, kind of difficult for no apparent reason except that here they are, and they’re sort of getting in the way of life as usual. No matter, tho, the season is upon us all, and so are the jolly or not so moods.

Yet, one thing I DO love about this time of year is the changing of the season to a more quiet and reflective time. I’m a writer, and I seem to write better in the winter…especially after the holiday madness. Yet, sitting here quietly tapping on my keyboard, I’m thinking about making sure I have the creative and reflective time before and during and after the holidays. And here’s how I’m going to do this (perhaps this will help you too):

I am going to be selective as to what events and gatherings I will attend.Since moving up to this hilltop retreat next to the lush forest, I find myself more and more wanting to be home. Some of my friends have even expressed a teensy bit of concern: “Are you becoming a hermit, Elke?” My answer is, “Well, maybe…for now.” Now that we’re settled, I find that I am feeling the effects of the last numbers of years in care-giving and putting-out-fires mode. And, while I’m not dead tired, I do feel that this is a time for healing and restoration of my mind, body and soul.

For those going through some tough challenges now, believe me, the time you take for restoration and healing after the challenges have settled down is priceless to your health and well-being. And that time is attached to no season. If you’re my friend, or if you have friends who understand these things like I do, you can always say: “I need quiet, restorative time now.” They’ll get it. And for those who don’t get it, thank them for their patience, and assure them it’s only for now.

I will also select events and gatherings which bring me joy–and that can be quite subjective. Its interesting how past events I’ve loved are just not of interest to me lately, and other events I wouldn’t even consider, seem bright and joyful to me. No matter though: If it will bring you joy, and/or if the gathering or event will have a net positive effect on your life, go! You have the right to change your mind, ya know.

Ok, time for another cup of cinnamon peppermint tea, my favorite quiet day beverage…for now.

Blessings and thanks for your kind attention,

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Elke Macartney


  1. harry bierke on November 21, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    truer words never spoken Elke. lost my soulmate july 26 2011, so the holiday seasons are a bitch to get through. lost my 102 year old mom this july, and the beat goes on. thank god for a rock solid base of close friends. zen buddhism is also a guiding light through the darker days.

    • Elke Macartney on November 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Harry: life continues, regardless tho, right? Somehow, it does. The Buddhist principal of Impermanence seems to comfort me in times of loss. Sending light and love your way!

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