In response to a prompt from Cate at Beyond the Fields We Know, I am writing today about acceptance. This year, I am entering into winter with an attitude of acceptance. Winter isn't something I've been very receptive to in past years, but I am trying to learn from friends who love this stark season to see its beauty. I have always been a fan of the interior comforts of winter: warm blankets, long novels, and warm mugs of fragrant, steaming beverages. I have always enjoyed the soups and stews that simmer on the stove, beginning in autumn when the weather cools. I have enjoyed sharing Christmas magic with my children: filling our house with color and light and then packing up in early January to enjoy a clean, more streamlined interior.
But... I have resisted getting out in the weather that winter brings to my windy, northern locale. All winter long, I feel as if I am walking with my head down and my shoulders squared, braced against the biting wind and bitter cold. Weather forecasts unnerve me as I anticipate difficult road conditions on the way to obligations and commitments. I tend to pare my to-ing and from-ing down to necessary trips only. A break in the weather allows a deep sigh and perhaps a spontaneous excursion.
A couple of weeks ago, just after I had written "A Song for Winter" welcoming the lengthening days that stretch ahead of us, I read a post on an email group to which I belong. The writer was telling a story of clearing her desk of Christmas decor, and setting out her white and silver winter accessories. She mentioned that the days of "deep winter" are a favorite time of year for her. The way she wrote it, that tiny two-word phrase "Deep Winter" sounded like a meditation. She was welcoming and accepting a time of year that I trudge through reluctantly.
The writer is a woman who exhibits grace and charm in all her writing. She has travelled a bit, read extensively, and always has wisdom and encouragement to share. Reading her words, I have been inspired to embrace deep winter with acceptance and joy. In these days of deep winter stillness, I want to walk in the snow more than I did last year, make more snow angels, and sing more songs in the sleeping garden.
photo by Aisling, rose leaves against the snow, December 25, 2007