Bears Do It

by Pamela Goode

The house is de-frocked and the champagne chugged, with leftovers picked apart,  floors de-needled, the last family member waved off, and even the cat has lost interest in the sole remaining pile of boa-fluffed stockings. I celebrated the official end of this holiday season by wearing my pajamas until 4:00 and then, finally bra-ed and tee-shirted, curled into the Big Leather Sofa with my blankie for three hours of CSI Las Vegas. Hibernation Season is upon me.

If January is synonymous with Beginnings, why is it so cold, so drear, so wet, so gray, so solitary, so comfortless? The only reason I can imagine is that the universe conspires to bring us into ourselves to create an internal nest that will warm us, heal us, reinforce us for the year ahead.

I don’t see abundant evidence that the human race is so universally evolved as to view the new year as a time of introspection. Sure we make resolutions, but 90% seem to involve diet and exercise, and a look in any direction provides ample evidence that the healthy eating promise is rarely kept. On New Year’s Eve we’re all eager to ring in a new annum that “can’t be any worse than this year,” and yet we’ll almost certainly be aping the same refrain at the close of 2010. Hope springs eternal, and yet how do we actively intend to put away the old and bring forth the better?

Maybe in the case of new beginnings, we take action through inaction, by curling up like bears turning our bundled backs on the world we’ve known and diving within to seek new possibilities, new paths, new nuts, new berries. I can spend hours staring at a pattern in the carpet, the steam from my tea, or colored chunks of glass awaiting an adhesive. And oddly, it feels good, and it feels good in the same way that finally cleaning the house feels good, or throwing out half of an uneaten sugary candy bar. It feels healthy. And holy.

Here’s wishing you an extra layer of fleece, a log on the fire, and a week’s worth of stew in the crock pot. I’ll be dancing in the streets with the first spring thaw, but for a few more days, bring on the holy. I won’t be answering the phone.