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THE CIRCLE: Slow mode activated

I don’t often do slow, but now is the perfect time to be in slow mode. Sitting inside, enjoying a hot beverage while sunshine streams through the window reflecting off the mountain of snow that was recently dumped on us, there is nowhere I’d rather be.

With the unpredictability of the weather, I find it easier to lose the control reins. Allowing the weather to dictate how the week shall unfold and I simply adjust accordingly. With the weather doing what comes naturally, it seems unnatural to work against it.

When I do bravely venture out, it’s for absolute necessities solely. It’s too cold, so I question how badly I really need that missing dinner item and whether it is worth the effort of leaving the comfort and warmth of my cozy home.  Less stops, less running in and out of the car, less freezing is the overall goal at this time.

I find myself in slow mode for several reasons: it’s winter; it’s cold; it’s dark, and the wind hurts my face (in my opinion, this is also the most underrated feature of wearing a mask). But that also means we have clear blue skies. When there’s a cold snap, the most beautiful bright blue sky can exist for several days: so crisp it’s a mood.

It’s too cold out for animals and definitely too cold out for people. I encourage those that can, to travel with new hats and mitts in the car. Unexpected acts of kindness are the best moments for the receiver as well as the gifter. Handing a toque out to someone you come across in your travels, but may not yet know, seems like a natural act evolving from this weather.

For me, I appreciate the change of pace and the forceful reminder to pause. In a pre-Covid world, sickness was usually battled during this time as colds and flus regularly made their community rounds. Often, I would take that as a reminder to listen to my body, listen to myself as to what my needs are, and it was usually screaming for rest. Now in a Covid era, cold and flu-like symptoms are extremely dangerous and must be treated with isolation to prevent a contagious spread. While the illnesses we now face are different, I still advocate for listening to yourself, listening to your body, and ensuring your needs are met. For me, that means rest. And this is the time to do so.

Distractions of outstanding projects, crafts, and even pleasure reading take a backburner. The house is filled with well-intentioned to-dos and those plans can wait. Meditation calls for a serene, calming, and peaceful state of being as I attempt to match the energy pouring in from the crisp blue skies. Mother Nature has spoken, and I am open for listening. So, for now, I am watching the frost on the window pile like snowflakes, as there’s nothing better when you’re in slow mode.

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About The Author

Janine Seymour is an Anishinaabekwe organizer and lawyer practicing in Kenora.