Slowly going Bear: Changing into a Winter lifestyle


We’re not there yet, but for many people Winter has arrived.

The type of drinks/dishes one starts making is evidence enough one has already changed gears into the Winter mode.

More Cinnamon, a dash of Ginger, more oven, less brightness, deeper color hues…

Winter is much more deeper, more interesting than Summer… it is a time for reflection, love, romance, and a little bit of isolation. It is a time for sowing new seeds.

The spiritual metaphor of Bear

I admire bears during Winter; their hibernation ritual is one I have aspired to mimic over the years. Less talk, less people, less outdoor activities, less craziness… the Bear sure knows how to make the best out of Winter; he goes inside himself, inside his cave, and leaves everything else outside.

Winter is a time for cleansing one’s mind from the Summer garbage; the lunches, dinners, parties, obligations, visits, meetings, and using the newly-cleansed soil for propagating new life situations.

Winter is hot chocolate, soups, hot drinks with Cinnamon and Cloves, books, heat, cats, fur, and a fuzzy feeling inside. Baked potatoes, simmered stews, beans, lentils, wool, eye-glasses (like grandmas), and a slow, slow way of life.

Winter is a time for the heart to be washed from all its Summer attachments, problems, feuds, disappointments, and unfocused-ness. It is a time to “forget,” to plant new seeds and embrace them with love, in the womb of time, so in Spring new sprouts, new life will come through.

We don’t have to be stuck in the life dramas that annoy us – for life. Winter is a good place to weed down the ugly and nurse the beautiful. It needs heart soil ready to absorb and make use of the Winter rain.

The Bear hibernates to allow for a new life cycle the coming season, to shed old fur, and grow new fur.

I wish us all a Winter filled with seed nursing, slow-paced book reading, and spiritual fur growing.

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About 50% Syrian

What is identity? I was raised Arab (of varying origins), with a Syrian mother, and Moroccan, Lebanese and Tunisian great grandfathers and grandmothers. I always felt 50% Syrian, and this percentage mattered to me more than anything else. Love of my life, my late Sufi grandmother, is Syrian... all her bedtime stories were about her life in Damascus. Damascus is where the heart dwells.
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