So last night was my monthly learning circle meeting with my friends (a handful of us get together once a month to talk about motherhood and learn from each other.) We read and discussed an article about breathing in the good moments and exhaling the rough moments. Recognizing that each moment is just a moment. They all pass. So we should savor the good moments and really breathe them in. And we should process the bad moments and realize that they will pass.
I always enjoy our monthly meetings but I especially enjoyed this one. It was really uplifting. Something that we did was go around and each talk about a moment that we can remember from our life where we really breathed in that moment. It was neat to hear everyone’s moments and feel how special they were to each of them.
I also mentioned about how during my morning routine, I sit at the table, facing the mountain (the big sliding door window is across from the table where I sit). And when the sun comes up over the mountain, I like to close my eyes and just absorb the sunlight as it gets brighter and warmer. I like to feel the light and warmth fill my mind and body and soul. I envision that I am being enlightened and filled with the spirit and with knowledge and with God’s love.
After I mentioned this, my friend, Heather, said that in Sweden (where she served her mission,) the people actually do this in the spring. She said that the winters are so dark and cold so in the spring when the sun comes out, the people will literally stop, close their eyes, look towards the sun and soak in the sunlight. It’s called Sola Sig, which means “to Sun oneself”.
I just looked it up, and this is what the internet says about Swedish winters: “Winters are cold and dark. It’s no secret that Sweden’s geographical location makes it prone to cold, dark winters. At the depth of winter in some northern parts of the country above the Arctic Circle, you might get as little as three hours of sunlight per day.”
I was curious to hear about this from Heather so I texted her and asked if this is true and she said “Yes! I was in the very southern part of Sweden during the 2 winters I was there and it would get light around 9:30 – 10 am and start getting dark again around 3 in the afternoon. So up north It’d be even less light!”
That is so crazy to me! And it totally makes sense to me why the people would love spring so much and why they would literally stop to take in the sunlight.
I also asked Heather if during the rest of the year it’s light for a long amount of time and she said “It was really hard for me. I don’t like the cold and the dark. But the one summer I was there was amazing! I wouldn’t even see the sun go down at all!” She sent me a photo of her from her mission where she is standing in front of a window and the sun is just setting. She’s holding a paper that says “10:00 pm”
This is so fascinating to me! It helps to give me more info about my Swedish ancestor’s lives (I’m 1/4 Swedish) and also I love the sola sig tradition – especially since I have been doing this, without even realizing the Swedish tradition. It helps me to feel more connected to my ancestors. 🙂
When I was talking to Jershon about this last night, I was telling him about how one reason why I love watching the sunrise is because it means that it’s a new day. I love watching the sky get brighter and brighter and brighter. I love the symbolism of that and applying that to growth, development, and knowledge.
I have also had times when I like the literal aspect of it being a new day. There are nights, like when Jershon is out of town, or we are camping, etc. where the night feels sooooo long and every time I wake up in the middle of the night, I just can’t wait for the sun to start coming up again.
In the case of Jershon being out of town, I hate being alone, especially at night. I hate the darkness. So I can’t wait for the world to get bright again, it feels less scary in the light.
In the case of camping, I am just so anxious for it to get light again so I can get up. I don’t love the sleeping aspect of camping. One, I don’t really love being in the middle of no where, in the dark, with who knows what animals and such running around outside. And two, because sleeping isn’t all that comfortable when I’m camping – and you never know if the kids are going to let me sleep well or not anyway.
So with both of these examples, when the sun comes up, I just feel so grateful for a new day – for surviving the night. I think that this can be a great symbol for those times in our lives that feel dark and scary and lonely. And then we have a moment (or multiple moments) where the light starts to come on and our world begins to get brighter and warmer again.