Sunday, December 15, 2013

365 Inspirations—349: Hibernation

"It's thought that hibernation was once a shared characteristic among all mammals, and then we humans lost the ability to hibernate—but it still might be in our genes."—Steven Swoap

Lately the idea of hibernation sounds very appealing to me. Animals go off into dens and caves in the winter to sit out the cold and store body fat in unfavorable weather conditions and this makes sense.

I also feel I'm picking up on this hibernation vibe. I feel a sluggishness that won't leave me alone.

There are so many things to do, yet I do none of them.

I'm content to get under a big piles of blankets with a book and get lost in another story.

Maybe I'm tired of my own story.

Currently I'm reading a 19th century Russian novel called The Golovlovs by M. Saltykov-Shchedrin. I would have never chosen this book from a bookstore, but it showed up one day on my kitchen counter and I've been reading and reading and can't put it down.

A yoga student brought it along to read on our yoga retreat to Sedona and was going to just leave it at the hotel, but my husband decided to put it in his suitcase on the rare chance that we might read it.

At the time, the story did not appeal to me. After all, it's about a family who gets caught in a vicious cycle of greed, self pity, loss, sorrow and boredom. Who wants to read a book like that?

Yet, the book is beautifully written and the characters come to life on the page. It's very easy to get quickly swept up in the story and there is a reason for it.

It's about the human condition—about our upbringings and foibles and how hard it is to break out of engrained patterns, but how freeing it feels when one is finally able to do so.

Underneath all the heaviness of this book is deep-seated love and beauty.

And I'm allowing myself to just be with this book and my own condition, which is slow-moving and sloth-like.

I read a little, then I fall asleep, I read a little more, than I fall asleep again. Sometimes I bring snacks into my hibernation den. I bring tea and mandarin oranges. Sometimes I even bring chocolates...

My vacation from the college has begun. Maybe that's part of it.

I seem to be able to muster up the energy to go out and meet friends, but when I'm home, it's back to my den.

And I'm loving it....for now.

Do you ever feel like you go into hibernation in the winter?

1 comment:

  1. Being part Bear and part Human, Hibernation is a very important thing for me. I simply cannot understand why we, who live in places where the temperature hits -40, and the snow piles up, don't go into at least semi-hibernation when the cold arrives. Much more sensible. But some people need to work every day to earn money to make payments, guess.

    This year is a bit different. We moved out of the Human filing cabinet (apartment building) and how have a house less then two blocks from our grandchildren who (strangely) seem to be here almost every day. They (the Cubs) have no interest in hibernation, so it is going to be an interesting winter.

    Blessings and Bear hugs.