As we gently fold into the ever darkening days of the late autumn to winter transition, I hope you have lightened the load in preparation of entering the heavy, cold and yin winter season. This year on the Vancouver Island, winter has hit hard and fast and it seems as if we’ve skipped over fall and went straight into a chilly, rainy winter.
Much like the Scandinavian tradition of “hygge”, winter is best spent cozy, warming and insular. This is a time to bring out the wool and down, nourish yourselves with warming soups, stews, stoke that digestive fire with spicy, aromatic herbs+spices and follow the rhythm of the season by lying low and investing in some deep, quality sleep. Nesting is the name of the game.
From a TCM perspective, winter is seen as a time for going internal and recollecting in preparation for the future spring season. Water is the element of winter, so it’s only logical that the kidneys are the organ associated with this season. According to the classic TCM text, The Huang Di Nei Jing (“The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor”), it instructs us to follow the cycle of the seasons in order to stay healthy.
“During the Winter months all things in nature wither, hide, return home, and enter a resting period, just as lakes and rives freeze and snow falls. This is a time when yin dominates yang. Therefore one should refrain from overusing the yang energy. Retire early and get up with the sunrise, which is later in Winter. Desires and mental activity should be kept quiet and subdued, as if keeping a happy secret. Stay warm, avoid the cold, and keep the skin covered. Avoid sweating. The theory of the Winter season is one of conservation and storage. Without such practice the result will be injury to the Kidney energy. This will cause weakness, shrinking of muscles, and coldness; then the body loses its ability to open and move about in the Spring.”
This month’s package boasts a variety of insightful and poignant history as well as different perspectives to see both our inner and outer landscapes. We have a thoughtfully curated Canadian soundtrack with some Indigenous flavor, more fascinating short docs, some recipes that will support your digestive fire as well as some resources to support our street entrenched community.
This November, light your fire within. Stay warm, dry and kind to yourselves and others.
We are still undecided as to whether to create a care package for December, but we’ll see how things unfold in the coming weeks.