I won’t lie to you it is cold. There are days if spent outside long enough it takes hours to feel warm again and some days you really never feel warm even if they are spent inside. This is midwinter. The cold air whips and moans revealing the cracks in our old farmhouse. Many mornings we wake to branches covered in perfect powder white snow glistening in the sunrise. The terrain becomes layers of white broken up by valleys, water, trees, and homes. Everything perfectly blanketed in snow just enough each day to keep it crisp and white. The colors pop and seem brighter even on the dreariest of days. It is the beauty of winter that has to be seen beyond the cold of winter.
Midwinter is a special and beautiful time. The holidays have long passed. The rush of a month of resolutions has now either become habit or been tossed out the window. We now settle in and patiently enjoy these days we shall only see during this month. February always holds the coldest and most bitter days. The ones that make you to want to hide even as a northerner, but these are the days we should choose to explore because the snow is always fresh and light. The water has created unique ice formations over lighthouses and on favorite beaches. These are the truly winter days that separate the weak from the strong in the north. This is where our reliance comes into play as to whether we will surivive or thrive.
We have a tendency to want to keep life as we know it the same, but the seasons always have a way of helping dictate just how we should be enjoying each moment in life. Midwinter is a time for many things none of which involve rushing.
This is the time to settle in and learn to enjoy the silence.
This is the time to make.
The time to create.
The time to plan.
This is when we make babies and stay close.
This is the time we disappear into the woods even with the threat of being cold because the sound of the snow is far more precious than our freezing toes.
This is when we spend time alone focused on preparing and planning so when the time comes we can awaken just as the birds in spring.
This is the time to wander the icy shore.
This is the time to give learn and practice a slower way of life.
This is the time to take up a new hobby.
This is the time to gather near fires and warm your toes by it on a cold night.
This is when we find comfort in making home.
This is when we make time to watch the sunrise because it is easiest to rise before it does.
This is when those sunrises are most magical as the light reflects off the icy water…it sparkles in the most magical colors on sunny clear days.
This is the time to go to bed early many nights simply to read and drink a cup of tea under the covers.
This is the time to learn to enjoy ourselves.
During the years we were away from here, I missed midwinter. The slowness was something I had to leave in order to appreciate. Now, I understand the importance of slowing down and not rushing or feeling the need to hurry. There is so much beauty to take in even if it seems the shifts in the landscape only subtly change. These days are the special transition and the reset the world needs before beginning anew. Don’t wish them away because of the cold or challenges they present, instead find joy in the fact it slows us and reminds us to prepare.
So this weekend if you are struggling to find the joy in these days, find a way to make this weekend warmer for yourself whether gathering with friends, hiking through the woods dressed in your warmest gear, or enjoying warm cocktails by the fire. Learn to have calm in these quiet days because sure enough just as winter came it will also leave. Things will come as they should.