I was reading a blog post by Druid in the Swamp earlier and it inspired me so thought I’d write a bit about what this time of year means to me as a Pantheist. January is a time of quietness and patience. With the busyness of preparing for Yule and Christmas, and then the hectic-ness of the holidays themselves, it is hard to ever find a time to stop, to slow down and to relax. But with New Years parties and drunkenness over, family and friends having left, and stomachs feeling over fed, now is the time for slowness. Like the calm morning after a stormy night, we now enter the period of resting and recovering as we wait patiently for the coming warmth of spring.
This month is the time for planning and preparing for the year ahead, whether its making new years resolutions, stocking up on garden supplies or doing a spring clean. It is a time to draw inwards, to spend long cold nights close to the fire with loved ones or wrapped up cosily reading a book. And it is a time to wait patiently for warmer weather and longer days. Talking of new years resolutions, I have previously written about the practice of Shinrinyoku here. This is a Japanese word meaning “Forest Bathing” and scientists in Japan have been doing a lot of research recently into the positive health effects of simply taking time to walk in a forest and enjoy all it has to offer. There was an article published about it here today which I wanted to draw everyone’s attention to as it points out how beneficial it can be. Maybe as Pantheists, we could all make a new years resolution to spend more time in local woodland or forests to experience the wonders of Shinrinyoku too?