“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
The Midwest offers distinct seasons for those of us living here to witness, winter being one of them. Classically winter is perceived as a deep freeze, cold weather, snow, life becomes quite still. Many stay inside more, keep warm, perhaps in front of a fireplace, hunker down or perhaps seek the fun and spirit of winter sports.
In recent years, however, in the Midwest we have experienced less snow, more cloudy, grey skies, and variable temperatures versus consistent cold. The weather, such a good reminder that everything changes, even the experience of a season that seems so familiar, becomes quite different. My love of driving in a snow storm, feeling like I am in a snow globe, is happening less and less.
For me, at this stage of life, I find winter to be a season to re-connect with myself, to nurture myself, rest. It is a perfect time to ponder and plant seeds, thoughts that can be nourished and perhaps sprout and come to life in the Spring when the natural expansion of life begins once again.
Throughout the day, as time allows, I gaze out the kitchen window and enjoy the arrival of cardinals in the back yard, their red color so vivid against the dark, leafless tree branches.
When graced by the sun, the reflection of the trees from the backyard, through the kitchen window onto the small glass kitchen table top is lovely! These moments of mindfulness, being present to the experience of life moment to moment, can support us throughout the challenges that winter presents to each of us. The range of experiences: from pleasant (ah, the beauty of a fresh snowfall, the sun is out today!), to the unpleasant (cold temperatures, day after day grey skies, traffic, salt, after a few days snow in the city getting grey, muddy). Continuing to develop that quality of attention that allows us simply to notice, be present.
In closing, I offer my Winter Haiku
gently falling to the earth