Friday, January 04, 2008


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


Nancy J. Bond said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words...I'm glad you found your way there and I hope you'll return often. It's always a delight discovering new and inspiring blogs -- I'll be adding a link to your site in my sidebar. :)

Acceptance is a lesson that was difficult for me to learn, and perhaps it becomes slightly easier with age. :) I have always liked winter for the very reasons you've stated. It's a time for nesting and reflection...quiet and unhurried. Your poetry is lovely...I'm off to explore the rest of your posts.

Judy said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog (just recently discovered blogging, actually--yikes, where have I been?) and really love your thoughtful style of writing. My goal in the next few days is to read all of your past notes. I am responding to your comments on hunching against the cold of winter. I have discovered that if I am completely warm, then dress in winter appropriate clothing, making the dressing itself a pleasing ritual, I can go out in the cold and truly enjoy a walk. It seems that if I hurry to dress, or am in a hurry to go out on an errand, that hurried feeling transfers itself as tension to my muscles and I tense against the cold. We all know that shivering is the action of tensed muscle. We also identify shivering as a miserable and uncomfortable feeling. The mind-body connection working the way it does, it is not long before we learn to dislike something that causes us discomfort.So, you are on to something there, girl, with embracing the cold. Have you ever read anything of Hal Borland or Gladys Taber? They write so beautifully of the cold and the winter. I am looking forward to more of your writings!

Anonymous said...

Some seasons are harder to bear than others, that's for sure. Our winters are fairly mild but I find our summer heatwaves hard to bear. It has exceeded 40 (104F) here three times in the past week and it just feels awful.

I hope you manage to find some joy in your cold, windy winter.

Hugs, and happy new year,


Anonymous said...

Lovely piece, Aisling. I'd noticed your comments before on Beyond the Fields We Know and thought I'd check out your thoughts on acceptance. This is the first time I've visited your blog, but it certainly won't be the last.

I especially appreciated your your thoughts on "deep winter" this morning.

Blessings to you.
Prairie Star

Aisling said...

Nancy, Thank you for returning my visit! Thank you also for your kind comment on my poetry. Nature offers beautiful inspiration for writing!

Judy, Before you know it, you'll feel the need for a blog of your own! *grin* It certainly seems that you have some insight to share. I really appreciate what you said about tension/shivering, etc. I've read some Gladys Taber and just quotes from Hal Borland. It is the kind of writing I love. It's so nice to meet you! :)

Kate, That kind of heat is very difficult to tolerate! I hope you are staying cool as often as possible. How is the garden surviving those temperatures? Thank you for your kind wishes!

Prairie Star, Thank you for coming by to see what I am writing about. Do you have a blog as well? I'd love to return this visit if you do!

Patty said...

so much to be discovered in embracing the things that surround us, like the seasons.

Aisling said...

Patty, I think that is so true. You seem to have that gift of embracing what surrounds you! :)

Prairie Star said...

Hi Aisling, I do have a blog and almost commented thru my identity, but got a little shy at the last moment. This whole blogging process is still very new to me and a bit scary too. I would welcome your visit.

Blessings on your studies in the upcoming semester ;o)!

Aisling said...

Prairie Star,
Thanks for coming back to let me know about your blog. I visited and really enjoyed reading your thoughts. :)

Prairie Star said...

Hi Aisling, thanks for your visit and your kind words. So that it's easier for me to find you (and to visit), would it be ok for me to add you to my blog roll? Thanks!

Aisling said...

Prairie Star,

That would be so nice! May I add you to my blog roll too? I know you said you were a little shy! :)

Prairie Star said...

Aisling, I would love that!

Thanks ;o)!