“To everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Ah, February, and with it the seasonal cold the Northern Hemisphere experiences. Though some years are colder than others, across the land cool to cold temperatures become the norm as does the mostly dry, dormant state of nature. Every year as winter progresses, my Facebook feed and the conversations of the general public gradually devolve to constant complaining about the weather. It is too cold, too wet, too dry, too snowy, too snow-less. I am not incapable of complaining, of course, being human. But I find what seems to be a season long trend toward complaining to be wearying; after all, it seems so helpless and hopeless to let one’s happiness be dictated by the weather which one cannot control. As I progress toward becoming a more well-bred woman this winter, I have purposed to endure it less and enjoy it more. Following are some ways I intend to make the most of the winter season.
One of the key changes during this season is that of longer nights and shorter days. Not only are the days shorter, but any woman who is active outdoors will likely find herself with less to do outside this time of year. The gardener’s rest is a relief after a busy spring, summer, and fall of planting, tending, and harvesting. Now is the time to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor and plan for next year’s garden. To keep my green thumb from turning rusty, I often attempt to grow potted herbs and lettuce in a sunny window during winter. It is a bit challenging with children and cats around, but I keep trying. This year my husband hung five pots by a large window in which herbs have been planted; so far, the plant squashers have not been able to reach them.
Taking a cue from the dormancy of nature, I tend to rest more in the winter. More reading, sewing, napping, sleeping a little longer at night, and staying in, with less strenuous work, gardening, exercising, going out, and socializing. It is as if I become a bit socially dormant and physically relaxed, although one must always be careful not to let one’s mind become dormant. Rather, winter is the perfect time to keep one’s mind sharp by taking advantage of cozy fires and fuzzy blankets to read or draw.
Sure, I am not a fan of moving about in the cold temperatures. But my absolute favorite part of winter is breathing the clear cold air. Sometimes early in the morning when I am still quite warm from the previous night’s sleep, I like to step outside without a coat and stand very still, breathing deeply for a few minutes. It is both invigorating and calming; hard to describe, but a truly delightful sensation.
Dear readers, how do you relish the winter season as a well-bred woman? Do tell!