Hibernation

Jan 21, 2011

My husband and I have been in Michigan for about two months. Temperatures here are about 20 degrees colder than our previous location in Memphis. The house we’re living in was a gift to the church from a beloved member of the congregation who died last spring. It is cozy and solid. Thick curtains, room darkening blinds, wool carpeting and three fireplaces give the impression of a winter-ready house.

In response to its warm invitation I have become a little bear in hibernation. For two months, I haven’t done much. I sleep 8-9 hours a night (about two or three more than usual). I’ve put on two or three (or four) pounds. I curl up in sweaters and wool socks and enjoy the view of bright snow and mauve winter skies from a big picture window. Even my hair seems to have grown thicker and faster than usual.

In rereading my description of the house and these two months, I might be tempted to deem this as a time of great spiritual renewal and insight. But that would imply some sort of intentional effort and observations on my part. And that would be completely untrue. Merriam-Webster’s definition of hibernate is much more accurate: “to be inactive or dormant.” Maybe in hindsight, there will be some insight. For now I’m just a grateful, sleepy bear enjoying the gifts of my little den.