I love to visit bookstores. Wintering is a word that I am beginning to see more and more. Katherine
May has written an interesting book entitled, Wintering, The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult
Times. The magazine, Bella Grace, publishes a “cozy” issue each year. Just reading those titles makes me sleepy in a good way. The thought of “wintering” automatically slows down my pace much like slowing down a piece of music so one can better practice a dance step.
There is a rhythm to winter. I find it to be a slower more relaxed tempo as opposed to the syncopated weather patterns of spring or the intense, spiraling heat of summer. Days are shorter and I find myself wanting a steaming bowl of soup. I enjoy the crackle of wood in the fireplace and I want to go to bed a little earlier so I can snuggle deep into the covers and drift off to the magic of dreamland.
I was not a nap taker as a child. I now understand the frustration that probably brought to my mother. Now, I understand the little story she would regularly share with me, in an effort, to get me to go to sleep. Unfortunately, it did not work then. It really works now! She would ask me to imagine that it was night and I had to walk a long way to get home. She never told me where I had been. All I knew was that I had to walk home! It was always cold, snowy, and the wind was blowing. Finally, I reached my house and I snuggled down in my toasty warm bed and fell fast asleep. I always wondered how she came up with that little story.
The point to “wintering” is to enjoy the change in the rhythm of the seasons. Enjoy the few times we get to see our neighborhoods covered with snow. Take a picture of the snowscape in the yard. I took a picture this morning behind the dance studio of our Monday snow. It is now my wallpaper on my phone. Just looking at it reduces my stress levels.
Life goes on in the winter but there are opportunities for relaxation and de-stressing that are unique to this season. I encourage you to adjust your pace to the shorter days and longer nights. Take a deep breath of fresh, winter air. Take pictures of forests, snow, and morning fogs. Try a new soup or cobbler recipe. Wear your favorite scarf and hat when you come to dance. I had one class wear their bath robes for their cover ups one year. They were warm and fuzzy and perfect for dismissal on a cold winter night. The class loved it. I love to listen to instrumental Native American music on a cold winter night when I have paperwork to do. I imagine a winter forest; pine trees covered in snow, blizzard conditions and wind howling! It is beyond relaxing. I get my work done and yes, I recall my mother’s story. Bliss is the word I am searching for.
I hope you will find your own unique way to enjoy the winter; not just endure. Would love to hear your stories and your ideas about “wintering”. Till then the words of Robert Frost’s 1922 poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” are coming to mind.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep”.
Thanks mother. Now I know and it works!
Happy wintering and sweet dreams,