a reflection on winter + an invitation

“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.” — Mary Oliver

Winter has never been my favorite season. Sure, as a child I loved playing in the snow, building forts, and sledding down the giant hills in the old hay field behind our house with my siblings and cousins. But, I’m a summer baby, and always preferred the heat, the sunshine, and the visits to the beach over the dark, cold, long winter days.

In more recent years, my fondness for summer has transformed into an affection for autumn.

I believe my affections have changed simply because I am getting older. I am in a different season of life, if you will. And, (sometimes stubbornly, sometimes openly), I’m learning to accept it.

This year, winter has been rather lovely for me. It has snowed a lot in the past month which has kept us indoors due to frigid temperatures. As a homebody, I don’t mind one bit. Keeping busy inside the home gives me purpose and grounds my soul. When my home environment is clean, organized, and balanced, then I am calm and at peace.

With all of that snow falling outside our windows, it’s hard not to stop what I’m doing and stare: stare at how lightly the snow falls, how it blankets the ground and the trees, how pure and clean it makes everything, how pretty it is. It’s hard not to notice how quiet the world becomes — when the air is no longer filled with bird songs and the snowy ground beneath your feet only makes the slightest crunching sound.

In the past, I was always eager to rush through winter. But recently, perhaps because of my intentions for this new year, I have come to realize just how important winter is. It is a season to reassess where we are and where we want to go. It begs for us to s l o w down, becoming an invitation for rest and rejuvenation. Much like nature itself is dormant, awaiting and preparing for all it must accomplish come spring, so too, should we do the same. It is necessary for the soul.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

The focus of this blog is to share the ways in which our family is mindfully growing through the seasons (both natural and seasons of life), but also to engage with you so that we might motivate, inspire, and challenge one another in the best ways possible. Therefore, I invite you to rest and reassess with me. Fresh into the new year, I think this is the perfect opportunity for deep thought and quiet time. And this doesn’t have to be a daunting task! It can be implemented in any way that works for you — perhaps through prayer, or a quiet walk alone at night, or a little more time spent reading or writing down your thoughts. As for me, I plan to continue practicing yoga to quiet my mind, take walks to breathe a little deeper and pray more, and to jot down my intentions for the year with practical ways to become involved and achieve them.

What are your goals for 2018? Happy New Year!

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