Friday, January 02, 2009

Seasons Within Seasons

Some of us enter January cautiously, I think, stepping carefully as if we are walking on uncertain ground. We will have to find our footing to move forward. What will we find beneath our feet in these cold days of January? Ice? Slush? Cold bare earth? What will we find in this year ahead? There is no way to know, so we look toward spring... walking toward the light and vibrancy that we believe in, despite the season at hand... and we begin to move in that direction, one well-placed step at a time.

Having analyzed my response to January, and having said all that I've written above, trepidation is hardly a personality trait that I want cultivate in myself. Rather, I want to live in January as fully and richly as I do in those days of light that I am walking toward. Last year I wrote about embracing winter. This is still a goal for me. I will be 45 late in this year, and do not want to continue that childlike habit of wishing time away. I tend to make goals, to plan for them, to strive for them... but I do not want to hurry toward them letting the days pass in a blur as I make a bee-line for my aspirations.

There are seasons within seasons, and I do not want to miss any of them. These early days of January may be sluggish and frozen in this northern region, but there will most likely come a few days late in the month where the sun seems to shine more brightly and the snow will melt away. We call this the January Thaw, a term that any of you who live in similar northern locales will be familiar with.

There are days in February when the ice finally freezes into a thick frozen blanket over the smaller lakes and ponds, and people around here shake the spiders out of their ice skates. Deep inside of February are days so cold that the snow snaps beneath our boots and our warm breath leaves our mouths and noses in frosty white clouds. Silence seems to hang in the air like a palpable thing, in that season, so thickly that any sound stands out in crisp relief. Those are the days when it is worth it to head out into the weather just for the experience of coming back indoors. It is then that I have the deepest realization that home is a haven; a place of warmth and comfort and familiarity. Let the winds outside the windowpane blow, and bring on the hot chocolate!

There are little micro-seasons in March that take my breath away with their promise. These are flirty days of warmth and color. This comes before spring, but winter always has her last hurrah, no matter what the calendar proclaims.

So, trepidation be gone! I am walking into January, stepping out onto Winter's path awake to all the nuances of the season... listening for the seasons within Winter that will speak to my heart.

photo by my daughter Haiku, January 1, 2009 - Is this dandelion really trying to bloom?



Kathie said...

Such inspirational thoughts!

Aisling said...


Thank you so much. Sort of just "thinking out loud" (or in writing as the case may be!)

One Woman's Journey said...

I love this post and it brought a lot to my mind about January.
A major decision may be on the horizon. Writing your thoughts is good for you. Keep it up.

Aisling said...


Thank you for letting me know that this post was meaningful to you. I can't wait to read more of your thoughts, your decision, etc.

I wish I had more writing time but thank you for the encouragement!


Everydaywoman said...

What beautiful words and feelings! Thank you for sharing them with us! I like the idea of living fully and mindfully! Also. . . Haiku is becoming quite the photographer! Following in her mother's footsteps perhaps? Enjoy the day; we'll all be back to our usual school/work routines before long!

Aisling said...


Thank you for your nice comments on my post. Yep, Haiku is a very good photographer. My husband used to take a lot of photos with a nice 35 mm, and she used to trek along with him on some photo-hikes. So, I guess it is in her blood!

We are back to school-night routine here tonight. My younger kids are back to school tomorrow, a and my college-aged daughter and I are back a week later. And, weirdly, the school year is almost half over! It is just flying by, so I am reminding myself to live slowly and to appreciate and notice the little things that make up a meaningful life.

Everydaywoman said...

Funny this is, I was thinking the same thing this morning, that the school year is almost half over. But, I prefer to think of it (at least here) as 4 months completed, 6 months to go, so we still do have time to accomplish all we set out to do! I hope you enjoy some time with your college-age daughter and with/for yourself before your busy class schedules start up again!..........Ruth