This morning, for the first time this season, it snowed. Not much, and it didn’t stick, but as we sat in bed sipping our first cup of coffee and catching up on the news on our iPads we watched outside of our bedroom window as the low cloud let go with the light dandruff of the first snow.
For so many years in the past I dreaded winter. When we lived in Washington State winter meant many months of clouds and rain. I went to work in the dark; I came home in the dark; I saw what little light there was only on the weekends. It was depressing.
Last winter, our first year back in Canada, I was excited to experience a real winter again. We had snow–record snowfall in fact!. It was cold–but not too cold. There were many sunny days when the sun shone on brilliant white glittering flakes of snow. It was beautiful, but I was more than ready for spring.
This morning, as I watched the gentle flakes fall from the sky I was filled with a sense of calm and acceptance of the winter that will soon be upon us. I felt no sense of dread, no longing for the season to be anything other than what it is, and I realized that this is what it’s like to inhabit a place and a time. This is what it’s like to live according to the natural rhythm of nature and one’s own body.
Spring is the season of expectation, hope, and planning as we open our windows and doors to let our home become filled with fresh air and birdsong. It is the season of going outside, getting dirty, and planting a garden.
Summer is the season when harvest begins. We feast on the season’s bounty and we preserve what we can’t consume in preparation for the future. The days are long and we go to bed tired but fulfilled in the work we have accomplished.
Autumn finds us still busy harvesting and preserving the gifts nature has given us. We reflect on the season that was, consider changes for the season to be, and find gratitude in the many blessings in front of us. We prepare our gardens for the season of rest; we prepare ourselves for the season of rest.
Winter, ah winter, the season I have dreaded for so many years that now I look forward to. Winter finds us fluffing our nests in the form of making changes in our homes, cleaning cupboards, reorganizing, and paring down. We treasure times by the fire with good books, hot tea, the latest knitting project. The days are short. We sleep more, we allow our bodies to rest and replenish.
There’s no sense in fussing about what was or what is to come. There is, however, great benefit to our physical and emotional self when we become content with what is and thankful for the gift of now. Funny how a few flakes of snow can serve as a reminder to be thankful, isn’t it? That’s what slow living can do.