It’s winter in the U.S. right now. I am fortunate to live in southern Arizona where winter is very pleasant. Today the high was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Locals had down jackets on; transplants like me went coatless. Here the winter is the time for outdoor exercise, hikes, and touring. Summer brings a torpor and a contrasting frenetic drive to get any errands done as early as possible in the morning. The inverse of where I grew up in the Midwest.
The Hero’s Journey is not linear. It moves in a cycle and is fractal at each stage. One of the harder aspects of deliberately creating a Hero’s Journey or realizing you are on the Hero’s Journey is your desire to get it done. (Well, that is the point.)
Like the natural seasons, you might find yourself in the literal and metaphorical winter at some point. So, what can you get done in the winter of your Journey? What is the “inside” work best done now?
The Hero’s Journey doesn’t yield growth by reflection, but by work. Grunt work sometimes. Administrative work. Tedious work. The trudge. The research, calls, writing, and piece-work necessary. That’s the inside work to do when you hit winter in your Journey’s cycle. Your intent could be to find ways to see the joy and meaning in the work that eventually serves up glory that will come at the end of your Journey.
… and a reminder. You don’t have to do this winter-work all by yourself. Call your allies! The quilters would have organized a “bee.” Producer canners would have rotated helping each other throughout the neighborhood until everything was “put up.” The mechanics of the community would help each other repair equipment. The gardeners would be reviewing seed catalogs to plan out the next year’s bouquets.
Then Spring comes again as it always does.
Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash