“There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…. In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.” ~Ruth Stout
Winter is a much maligned season…..yes you heard me correctly. When we say winter is coming, you don’t hear a joyful cheer rise up from the masses, especially if you live where there is snow. No instead there are groans and grumbles.
It is cold. The landscape looks brown or drab or worse covered in white for months on end. Outdoor activities are limited. And worst of all, it is dark and gray. Especially dark….we rise in the dark, go to work in the dark, and watch the sunset before we return home from work. We are eating in the dark, and if your internal clock is like mine, you want to go to bed by 7pm. Not a bright prospect for a season.
So I decided a few years back that I had to stop grumbling and complaining about winter. Instead I needed to find the good in winter…the gifts it brings us. And once found, I needed to embrace these gifts, and believe in the wonders winter can bring. And I do mean believe, for as we know our perceptions about something can color it either positive or negative.
I believe it is time to give winter the credit it is due. To bring winter out of the darkness, and into a more beautiful light. And I want to share winter’s gifts with you now, as the season approaches.
So what are these gifts, you ask? Take a look……
Winter isn’t actually such a dark season. November and December are the 2 darkest months, and they come at the end of autumn. As winter starts on the solstice, we mark the darkest day and celebrate the coming back of the light. Each day we gain sunlight and the days brighten and shine.
And that’s another gift of winter, some of the most spectacular bright, clear blue skies. Watching the sun rise low is especially wonderful, as it casts unusual shadows on the canvas of white.
Then there are the sunrises that take your breath away. Yes this is an actual winter sunrise of pastel colors with that heart cloud.
And on the days when the skies are a dark gunmetal gray, and they open up with a fury, we see another glorious scene. One of magic where the whole world is swallowed whole in white. I watch each snowfall as each is different depending on the temperature. And that snow can create such unique scenes.
While the landscape may not be filled with green and flowers, there is a quiet beauty you will miss if you don’t look for it….really look for it.
A brown drab garden brought back to life with the magic of the snow and the winter light. One light show I look forward to every morning as the scene is always spectacular. Reaching deep into my soul, scenes like this make my heart sing.
And then there are the visitors who add their own light to winter. Here a pair of bluebirds find shelter and shop for a spring home.
Watching nature is another wonderful gift of winter. Now that the trees and landscape are bare, we can see the birds more clearly. And see the beauty of other critters, like this fox in its thick coat.
So while winter may keep us indoors more, and may start off as the darkest season, we can take advantage of the gifts of winter even from the warmth and safety of our homes. By changing your perspective you can observe a stunning world just outside your window.
Oh and there are other things you can do during winter as you begin to embrace the gifts it bestows on us. Consider exploring one of the following:
- Grow herbs on a windowsill to use all winter so you can still have some of summer’s fresh flavor.
- Bring in a potted geranium or coleus and watch it bloom all winter.
- Give yourself a challenge and read more. Catch up on those books you have been meaning to read.
- Take walks and look at the beauty of winter from a different viewpoint. Maybe even build a snowman or make a snow angel.
- Take up snowshoeing or another winter sport, and see the winter scene’s in a new spot.
- If you are crafty you can work on projects or delve more into other creative artsy endeavors.
- Clutter clear your house slowly and create more space for joy and abundance.
- Cook more yummy soups, stews and comfort foods.
The list is endless….So take some time this winter and explore all the gifts winter holds.
What do you think are winter’s greatest gifts? What are your favorite things to do in winter?
Special Note: The pictures here are of winter scenes from my garden over the years.
The magazine is the creation of Jen@ The Light Laughed. Many of you may know Jen already from her new blog or from her days writing at her old blog Muddy Boot Dreams. I recently did an interview with Jen which was quite a treat for me.
I leave you with a bit more sentiment about winter’s gifts. Feel free to download the photo and share.