If there’s anything cozier than sitting by the fire with a good book while January’s Full Wolf Moon rises in winter’s purple sky, I haven’t experienced it. Add my loved ones in similar comfy postures, a few blankets, some wine, hot homemade ginger water, or cocoa (do they make cocoa ginger wine?), soft background music, and I’m the definition of content.
It’s easy to dislike the stretch of bland gray days these winter months offer us, but the magical sunrises and sunsets, the slow post-holiday pace, the still-brief daylight, and the feeling of cocooning together make it a season that becomes dearer to me every year. After years of wishing these months would just pass into spring already, I can finally relax into them, understanding that what’s happening in the garden is happening in me as well: life is resting, percolating, and waiting to rise.
I’ve come to trust the winter months’ mysterious powers to stimulate dreams, generate ideas, and shape connections in my psyche. A lot of new creative projects are brewing and bubbling just beneath consciousness and I’ve learned to let them be; they’ll green and bud when they’re ready. In the meantime, I love the chance to read piles of books, to meditate more and for longer periods, to do little projects in the house, and to indulge in naps that the summer’s activities don’t often allow.
We’ve had some rough weeks dealing with sudden, painful, and dispiriting setbacks in my healing from knee surgery, but I think we’re back on track again, for which I’m most grateful. After weeks of resting and hobbling behind a walker, I went for my first walk with Phillip today. It was cold and bleak outside, and I loved it. Fresh air, winter sounds, frosty smells, and mobility; I felt tentative and new, released into a strange and brilliant world.
When you look closely at the world in winter, so much life is revealed in a landscape that at first appears utterly barren. We saw the tracks of rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, mice, and a deer or two, and heard the hooting owls and jays. Mourning doves huddled at the feeding tray Phillip set out (our very own dove bar), and a variety of birds swooped back and forth between trees and the hanging feeders.
In the same way, although we’re outwardly resting in greater stillness during winter, a closer look reveals some of life’s most profound activities: healing, dreaming, waiting expectantly, and trusting that what demands growth and tending in spring will be met with our winter-fortified readiness.
Gentle peace to you, and joy in all the creativity brewing in your own winter hibernaculum, and the same wishes to the actively-creative sunbathed days of all my friends in the Southern Hemisphere.
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