Yes, I’m still listening to Christmas music, but it’s toned down a bit. John Denver and The Muppets has been relegated to the bottom of the stack, along with Bing and Trisha Yearwood. What has stayed toward the top is one of my favorites, Celtic Christmas III which is mostly instrumental and mostly old carols like The Wexford Carol and Lully Lullay. No Rudolph or Santa Baby.
Two other favorites aren’t Christmas music, but winter music – George Winston’s December, and A Winter’s Solstice IV by various artists. All these cds are on the original Windham Hill label so you know how old they are! All the music has a haunting, soothing, quieting effect on me. If I believed in reincarnation, I’m sure my past life would have been someplace where days are short, snow is deep and the northern lights dance. A place where winter blankets.
I’ve lived in South Carolina 31 years and I still miss Midwest winters. For me there’s something cocooning about grey days and charcoal evenings, about how snow muffles sound. I don’t forget that snow also gets slushy and loses its beauty, but the dreary days never depressed me. Winters in South Carolina are different, not as dreary and fewer chances of being sequestered for any length of time. I create that sensation with the strings, Celtic drums and low reed instruments that recall a place I’ve never been, but somehow know.
As an introvert I need that cocooning. I call it ‘getting peopled out.’ I like people – really! – but as Susan Cain explains in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, being around people too long saps my energy. And sometimes 10 minutes is too long! I get antsy, moody and tired. I don’t want to talk to anyone, take care of emails, or watch tv. Solitude is that fallow time my body, mind and soul need to refuel and reenergize, find their rhythm again. If I get a whole day that’s a blessing, but even as little as four hours makes a difference.
After the holidays the quiet winter is perfect for withdrawing. I have to work, but I embrace the still shorter days. I need to remember to make room for solitude throughout the year, not just in January and February. So if I skip a week or two here, I might be off listening to winter music.