The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
"Every bit as beautiful and healing as the season itself. . . . This is truly a beautiful book." --Elizabeth Gilbert
An intimate, revelatory book exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down.
Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.
A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May's story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.
Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. A secular mystic, May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.
Loved by our collective!
Wintering is a beautiful meditation on both the dark & chilly season, as well as the periods of "winter" in our lives: stretches of illness, grief, and transition that disrupt our routines and force us inward. This theme felt especially resonant in preparation for the lonely, home-bound winter of 2020.
Although May unfortunately does not address the millions who are violently denied the conditions for "rest and retreat," May imparts wisdom from people and animals of northern regions for surviving in harsh conditions. Whether you are prepared to take a "polar bear plunge" into an icy body of water, as the author suggests, is up to you (that will be a no from me), but the hibernation metaphors might help you give yourself permission to get through your winter however you can!
- 256 pages
- Riverhead Books (11/10/20)
- 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches