We come out of the season of light into the period of hibernation; where it is a daily chore to keep the woodstove filled, the wood pile by the stove beckoning replenishment and the wood pile outside diminished. In the back of the mind is the constant questioning; did we put up enough?Will it last the season?
It is so easy to not be present in winter when we have to keep our heads down against a biting wind while pondering if there really is such a thing as a January thaw, even though we have just come out of one. It is so easy to not be present in winter; the collection of seed catalogs pile high on the desk with their glossy photos of ripe,blight-free, tomatoes beckoning like sirens. It is so easy to not be present in winter as I squat on the floor navigating a small leg into a snow pants. Then pushing a foot into winter boot like a puzzle piece that looks like it should fit if only it were turned another way. At moments like this I think of little shorts and sneakers and the progression of my wee one's skill; even if the shirt is on backward, that will follow from this moment. It is so easy to not be present in winter when the house is so cold and the bed is so warm. "Just 5 more minutes, I promise." It is hard to present in winter when the ground does welcome your foots easy tread but dares you to dance with gravity on its icy glare. It is so easy to not be present in winter because it is easier to forgive resolutions unfulfilled than it is to follow through. Okay, so there may have been some intention to do 25 sit-ups a day but that was the giddy promise of a new year and this is the "bleak mid-winter." There is time, There is time...
But this is winter.
The days grow longer,each day a small gift of light is granted until with surprise we notice that the sun has not set at 4 in the afternoon.
This is winter when we can take a breath from the hectic seasonal pace of putting a garden in, tending, harvesting and preserving the summer in jars neatly aligned on the pantry shelf.
This is winter after the big celebration of holiday season when we can cherish small joys; such as woodpeckers at the suet feeder, a bright clear and very crisp day when the air feels so clean, the warmth radiating from a cuppa tea after a long day in town.
This is winter when hubby is gifted a snow day to be home with his family.
This is winter when the quiet allows for the time to follow more sedentary pursuits of reading good books, finishing knitting projects, indulging in a Doctor Who addiction.
This is winter when we can over extend our garden ambitions, without the reality of weeding, as we lose ourselves in the poetic descriptions of Amish Paste tomatoes, french fingerling potatoes, arugala-la-la....
This is winter when we have to work harder to reach out from our hibernation to find our community. Summer may be carefree and full of cookouts, communal canoe trips and spontaneous gatherings around a fire pit.
But in winter, gatherings become intentional, made with an effort and worth the effort even if out travel home is through snow and ice.
Peace and Blessed Be