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Winter Musings 2014

I hear so many people saying that they hate winter, and it makes me a little sad. Winter has a beauty all its own, and so many people seem to be blind to it.

Oh, sure.  I hate brushing snow off of my car, and there are times when driving is hazardous (and so is walking!), and I can do without the subzero wind chill (and the #!^% frozen hot water pipe) but I don’t hate winter.

For one thing, some of the most beautiful scenery comes in winter.

  • A heavy wet snow that clings to the branches and makes the forest look like it’s made of lace
  • An untouched expanse of snow, sparkling in the sunlight as if made of tiny diamonds
  • Big fat fluffy flakes that drift and swirl and make you feel like you’re inside a snow globe

Yes, winter can be deadly:  so can summer.   That’s no reason to hate either season.

I think that one of the reasons that people hate winter is that they have drifted too far from the cycle of the seasons.  (Part of that problem, of course, is modern life. People don’t live as close to nature as they once did.  We now, for the most part, live in more urban areas and few people live within walking distance of where they work.)

What does that have to do with hating winter?    Well, one of the reasons that people don’t like winter is because it’s so hard to get out and about, but that’s the point.

Winter is a time for going within, a time to draw into yourself, to rest, and to restore your soul.  We’re supposed to be less active in the winter.  Nature is resting, preparing for the new growth of spring: we should be doing the same thing.  Our bodies and souls know this.  Even separated from the natural world as we are, part of us senses that now is the time to rest.

But a lot of people aren’t comfortable with that.  Our society pushes “go, go, go, do, do, do” to the point that people don’t know how to be still: people think that they have to be out doing something, even if it’s just window shopping.

And that dichotomy between society’s expectations and the soul’s needs leads to people “hating winter” because they don’t understand the true root of their distress.

Another reason is that less time out in the world also means less time around people.  For an introvert like me, that’s not a problem, but, again, our society seems to be geared toward people not being alone, with the result that people don’t know how to be alone, to the point that unless they are in a relationship with someone they don’t feel like a whole person.

People aren’t comfortable with themselves.  They don’t realize that they need to form a relationship with themselves, so they look outward, to others.  And winter is a time for looking within.

Winter is a dark time, and people are afraid of the dark.  They are afraid to look within.

But the dark isn’t evil, and the truest answers come from within yourself.

So don’t hate winter. Embrace the lessons it offers, and the time that it gives you to learn those lessons.

Oh.   And the best thing about winter?

Hot chocolate.