Hibernation – Not an Excuse to Neglect Self

by Soul Places | Diane Ludeking

Until April 2009, I had lived in the Twin Cities area for the better part of the ten previous years.  News of significant snowfall there this past week got me thinking about hunkering down for the winter and entering a form of hibernation.  Although there’s only been a few sightings of snowflakes in the Madison area, my fuzzy ponies assure me winter is coming.  I pulled up the following poem recently and felt it fitting for the upcoming season – both internally and externally.


by Diane Ludeking

A hibernating bear wiggles her toes

Slowly turns over and is attacked by a stretch

The most amazing, gratifying stretch

The kind that sneaks up on you wonderfully

And lasts a whole minute

Accompanied by an equally alarming, satisfying yawn

And random squeals and peels of delight

The most yummy way to greet the day

She picks herself up

Indulges in one more delightful stretch to the sky

And wanders outside

Blinking away darkness into sunshine

Blinking, blinking, blinking

Nothing is changing, she cannot see

Blinking, blinking, blinking

Vague shapes begin to reveal themselves

As withered, fruitless trees

Starving, frantic rodents

Skeletons of creatures that just couldn’t hang on

Grey, grey sky

Barren, barren land

This is not the world she exchanged for a nap

The most distressing sound she has ever heard

Startles her and brings her massive form

Crashing to the childless earth

Only the earth will not receive her

There is an unspeakable battle that ensues

Fangs, claws, blood, earth-shattering cries

That echo off the lifeless surface of her reality

Exhaustion, defeat, wounds, deep life-hungry wounds

Devour her and she passes alone into unconsciousness

Serenity greets her

And she lives there for a time

Surrounded by nothingness

It is revealed to her that the battle that nearly took her life

Was a battle with herself

The distressing sound that started it all

Had been building deep within her for a lifetime

And once it was freed

Everything worth hiding came barreling forth

Finally she had heard herself clearly

Felt the wounds deeply

Had seen the life she’d been living

Was a shadow of her true self

And was nearly destroyed by the truth of it all

As unconsciousness slowly returns her to life

A sense of wasted time gives her urgency

She jumps to her feet and takes off running

Only it feels like flying, soaring

Through fertile forests that house healthy creatures

Splashing through streams of life-giving water

Adventure of the most amazing kind

The alive-kind

The I-know-who-I-am-kind

There is no longer a need for hibernation

When illusions have been vanquished

And true self has been embraced