Learning to Winter
Hello and welcome. Time for a cuppa and a chat.
I started writing about wintering months ago; before the enforced wintering of my soul. The seed was planted toward the end of my time reading “Growing Slow” by Jennifer Dukes Lee. The earth rests in winter and we need to too. Winter is a time for creativity. It is a time to replace outdoor activities, like gardening, with knitting and sewing and books. A time to replace digging in the dirt in the warm sunshine with reading a cozy book by lamplight.
At the time I began to contemplate wintering, it was with a sense of excitement. Could something good actually come out of winter? I have hated winter my whole life and certainly did not see it as a season to look forward to. The part of the country I come from has brutal winters. The idea of actually using winter was a completely foreign concept to me. It had always been a season to endure.
Little did I know in the beginning that I would be forced to take a step back and rest. I also did not know the toll this winter would take on me mentally, physically and emotionally. I needed to winter and rest. I had no idea how dependent I would become on my spiritual life; just what wintering is for.
After avoiding COVID for almost two years, it caught up with me in November. If any of you have had COVID you know that there is no choice but to rest. The fatigue, combined with sleepless nights, make rest a high priority. In between naps, for the first couple of weeks, mindless TV was about the best I could do. I came home from the hospital on oxygen and just got off of it a couple of weeks ago. I never expected that. I came home a day after Thanksgiving, and I began my limping journey toward Christmas.
Since I was in the hospital for Thanksgiving and Mr M was there for Christmas, I couldn’t depend on the holidays to soften the harsh winter. I had to find other ways to winter and rest. As you have probably guessed, books are my go to way to rest. After the first few days out of the hospital, I was able to concentrate and read. I’m still working my way through the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I think I’m on book #7. Before Christmas, Jan Karon, herself, recommended that her fans read “Shepherds Abiding”. I’m so glad I did that. It got me through some really tough days, as the books continue to do. They are a great distraction from the tasks at hand.
Most of you already know that Mr M died in December and there is so much to do. In addition to the knitting and reading that I have always used to relax, I have developed a circle of pen pals. We are all ladies over 55 who still remember the joy of receiving mail and we want to keep that going. Evenings are the hardest part of the day for me, so reading and writing letters are like having someone to talk to.
I hope you find ways to rest, relax, and be restored this winter. I hope to always find a way to do this. Maybe, just maybe, I can learn to look forward to winter.
At the moment, I’m looking forward to spring. I can hardly wait to begin gardening. Right now it’s all under snow! Since digging in the dirt isn’t possible, I’ve settled for ordering plants that will be arriving just in time to plant! And beyond that I am, for the first time ever, I am looking forward to wintering again next year.
Since I didn’t get any treats made and the ingredients were languishing in the pantry, I took a little time this week to make
Rocky Road Bites
1 large bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 regular bag butterscotch chips
1 8oz bag chopped pecans
1 bag miniature marshmallows
Melt the chips together over low heat. When they are mixed, add the pecans and mix them in. Let the mixture cool a bit and mix in the marshmallows. Drop by spoonfuls on to wax paper. This will make about 4 dozen.
Until next time, rest, relax, and restore for the season ahead.