The Fallow Time

by Kyeli on November 16, 2009

This time of the year brings challenges for me.

It’s the fallow time, that dark quiet between Samhain and Yule, where the previous year has ended and the new year has yet to begin. My internal clock slows way down, which is natural but has interesting side effects. The early darkness often brings me a sense of restlessness and a kind of loneliness. And here, where it’s 85° but dark by 6pm, all these feelings are enhanced by feelings of dissonance – what the hell season is it, anyway? Gah.

So I wind up feeling down and motionless and stagnant.

Last Friday, my dear friend Timary taught me the first two steps in crochet so I can make my own insanely cute tiny little stuffed animals (aka amigurumi). I spent over an hour chaining and then another hour doing some other simple crochet thingie – and I loved it.

When I got home, I started crying. I realized that I’ve been overwhelmed with stagnation. I feel like I’m not learning or growing right now. I’m just kind of… living. Day to day, things are great. I love my life. But I feel a general lack of growth, all too common for me in this weird season.

This year, I think I’ll move through it by finding new things I can do, like amigurumi. I’m going to exercise, so I don’t feel so sluggish. I’ll read all those books in that huge pile on my nightstand. I’ll make sure to get more quality time with my friends, and to enjoy all the special things that only show up this time of year.

Celebrate, instead of dread. That’ll do it.

What about you; do you feel similarly? What do you do to move through it – and can I help?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Bridget Pilloud November 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

The fallow time can be hard for me too. My body clock slows down. It’s hard to bring myself to do things that I’ve committed to, things that I was previously excited for.
A friend of mine taught me a little intuitive trick. It’s called “Going to Ground”- and what you do is pretend that you’ve jumped into the earth. You just sit under there and see what’s going on.
I find that under my fallow ground, there’s warmth, and things growing under the surface and a deep sense of nurturing. It helps me feel like even in this time when I’m am sleeping more and taking things more slowly, I’m growing things that haven’t broke the surface of my consciousness.
I hope this idea helps you!
PS. I love Amigurumi too! They’re quick and easy and you don’t have to think too much! Perfect for a winter’s day.
.-= Bridget Pilloud´s last blog ..Na-No-Intuit-Mo: Using your intuition to shush your critic =-.


MoxyJane November 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm

I hit that plateau last year…realizing that I wasn’t really learning or doing anything new, just sort of maintaining our day to day existence. It hit me pretty hard. And this time of year is also very challenging for me, too. But knitting helps;-) Have a wonderful time making your amigurumi friends!
.-= MoxyJane´s last blog ..Feeling Pretty Friday =-.


Charlotte November 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I do feel the same – especially because it starts getting dark around 4:30 here. I’ve found myself sleeping a lot more.

One thing that’s really helped is journaling – putting a conversation between me and the parts of me that want to stop and shut down for the winter on paper.

Something that one of these parts of me told me recently has really helped. It said that before every period of huge growth is a period of (seeming) stagnation. This time is being used to gather in your energy stores and rest a little before a big push. It won’t happen any faster than it wants to – so just keep being with and in your body, and focus on giving yourself the stuff you need.

I’ve been feeling much better since that conversation. I don’t know if that helps at all, but I certainly hope it does.

*hugs* of course, for the hard.
.-= Charlotte´s last blog ..“Serial Entrepreneurship” And Being Who You Really Are =-.


Moon'sLark (@moonslark) November 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Ooh….oooh ooh!!
I was wondering what to post for the first post of “Facing East Again” (which, btw, I don’t know if it will run until later :)) because I have definately been stagnating…

Fallow time… hmmm… yes… that’s a great inspiration! See… all I really need in my life during the Samhain season is to know that I am not alone in the dark, and to be inspired
.-= Moon’sLark (@moonslark)´s last blog ..Friends, Romans, Countrymen… =-.


Hayden Tompkins November 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I have to be honest, I’m going back to Raleigh soon and I am SO HAPPY. I guess that falls in line with growth experiences and giving yourself something to look forward too.
.-= Hayden Tompkins´s last blog ..Rock the Universe! =-.


Jaka Merriman November 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I didn’t realize it until you posted this, but I totally do the same thing. November to January, I’m a reclusive pile of “meh”. Being part of the blogsphere might kick me out of that pattern, though. But I must say I usually enjoy the fallow time the of year. It lets me charge up for the spring ahead.
.-= Jaka Merriman´s last blog ..Epilepsy Awareness Month =-.


Ealasaid November 16, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Well, I do National Novel Writing Month every year, so I wind up being really creative during all of November. That helps. So does my full-spectrum lightbox. I think it’s natural to be more inward-oriented during the dark time of the year, so I try not to let it bother me. I work on saying “no” to things I don’t have the time or energy to do. I practice patience and sitting quietly.

And I listen to a LOT of loud music in the car. Mostly the Hives. :) Nothing like singing along with crazy Swedish punk rockers to lift my mood.


Leah/DefytheBox November 17, 2009 at 10:18 am

I can relate to what you are saying Kyeli ! I am in Boston , MA so right now it starts getting dark around 4 and it is clod….although the past week it has been 65 and it is kind of freaky…..I start thinking about going to bed at 9 or so and I really don’t feel like being all that active.
Add the upcoming holidays and it feels like I ‘supposed’ to be doing all kinds of stuff that I just don’t feel like doing.
I just let myself do what I feel like doing. Why fight nature ?
I find that this is the time for going within and reflecting on what I want more of in my life and what I need to release. I do a bit of mental house keeping and spend time getting clear on what I want more of in the upcoming year. I let thing perculate.I take care of loose ends. I read books, and watch movies.
I am wondering if it is easier for me to feel OK about not doing much because I have the weather to factor in? We get a big snow storm or it is freezing cold out and it is the perfect excuse to stay inside and drink hot chocolate.
I do think that you are on the right track with finding things to do while you are in your down time.
I guess my question for you is “How would you like to feel during this time?”
What you can do for me is just keep being you…in your full freaky glory.
Rock On!
I do think that you are on the right track with finding things to do while you are in your down time
.-= Leah/DefytheBox´s last blog ..The Freak Factor =-.


Andy November 18, 2009 at 12:55 am

EEE. Welcome to the wonderful world of crocheting! I’ve been crocheting for years (though it’s been awhile since I’ve done a project…) and learned how to knit, though I’m still better with a hook. Check out – like myspace for yarn, only without the annoying kids, ads, and music videos. Tons of patterns including amigurumi.

In my ravelry queue there are 3 cute little patterns:
And a basic body pattern.


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