By Deb Matlock

two wolves on foggy snowy hills

In the Northern Hemisphere, December is the time of year our days shorten, the temperature drops, and the sun shows is brightness to only some of us some of the time.    This time of year has always been one of my favorites.  I love the slowing down, more sleep, more inward energy that I tend to feel as the darkness comes earlier in the day.  I am potently reminded that so many rhythms exist in the natural world and they all depend on each other.  This time of year also reminds me that I am a wild being with wild rhythms as well.

So, what are rhythms exactly?  Rhythms are tempos, beats, patterns, cycles, repeating movements…all of which allow us to live and thrive on this earth.  Essentially, rhythm is life!

Rhythm is when things happen, occurring on various time scales, from the repetitive sound of a heart beating moment by moment to the seemingly isolated eruptions of volcanoes over billions of years.

Andrea Olsen, Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide


The wild rhythm of Stillness

Winter Solstice is often considered a time of stillness, where the sun remains still in the sky.  Ironically, of course, stillness can only happen in conjunction with movement.  Afterall, the planet’s rotation is indeed what creates seasonal changes as well as nights and days.  Without the essence of stillness, we would have no other rhythms.  Stillness is the space between beats.  Imagine a dance troupe on a stage.  The beauty of their choreography is accentuated with pauses, stops, and changes of tempo…all of which rely on stillness to take place.

winter forest scene

Personal stillness – Celebrating Winter Solstice

What does the rhythm of stillness bring out in you?  Do you like to take long naps, meditate, write or do you prefer a more active way to celebrate stillness?  Do you clean the house or create paintings during the time of year when the world is “resting?”  Your own unique way of being in “stillness” is as wild as it gets.  It is your rhythm and I guarantee it is mirrored in the world around you.  Afterall, even during the “still” time of Winter Solstice in Colorado where I live, birds and squirrels are a busy as ever.  Stillness is a state of mind.  A wild, wild state of mind.


Deb Matlock grew up in the mountains of Colorado and is deeply committed to nurturing the connection between people, animals, earth, and spirit.  She has spent twenty-five years working as a professional environmental and humane educator and naturalist.  Additionally, Deb offers shamanic-style spiritual guidance, animal communication, nature connection workshops, and retreats through her business, Wild Rhythms.  She is passionate about helping people find connection and deep spiritual meaning in their lives and in the places where they live.  Deb holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Education from Prescott College and is pursuing her doctoral degree in environmental studies at Antioch University New England. 

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