Let us love winter for it is the spring of genius.
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.
As I write this, I am looking out my window as the snow silently blankets the landscape. Mesmerizing and calming. Quiet and peaceful.
Each season brings its own particular joys to the spirit and winter is no exception. Too often winter is viewed as something to be endured or an experience to avoid in favour of warmer climes. To simply wait out winter until it is over is to miss its wonderful offerings.
I actually like winter. The combination of cold and darkness can be difficult to bear at times but it provides an excuse to retreat to the warmth of inside and embrace all manner of hygge. Hygge is the Danish word for living well and it is often experienced in living spaces through such things as candles, books, blankets and cushions, a fireplace and a good cup of tea.*Winter lends itself especially well to hygge.
As wonderful as the warmth of indoors can be, we can’t stay inside indefinitely. There is an abundance of things to do in winter that you can’t do at other times of the year. It might take some creative thinking but winter is worthy of our time and attention. Here are some things about winter that I love.
Winter play: Some activities can only be done in winter: tobogganing; skiing; skating; curling; ice fishing; and snowshoeing for starters. Building a snow fort is fun if you have the good fortune to be among young children. Making snow angels and throwing snowballs are also fine winter activities. If action outside is not your thing you can live vicariously through others engaging in winter sport such as at the winter Olympics.
Winter foods: Certain foods are delicious in cold weather. Stews, hearty soups; chili and so on are true comfort foods that taste better in cold weather months. Winter is a great time to cook and fill the kitchen with wonderful aromas.
Winter walking: It goes without saying that you need to dress for the weather but a brisk walk in winter weather is invigorating. The cold on your face, especially if accompanied by snowflakes is a wonderful contrast to the rest of you that is hopefully warm and dry in suitable clothing. I also love the crunch of snow underfoot that comes with winter walking.
Winter and nature: frosted windowpanes; white snow on the ground; the delicate and unique shape of each snow flake; the irregular, perfect design of tree boughs and limbs bared of leaves against the backdrop of the sky –all create an artistic landscape. Snow in all its variations whether flurries or winter blizzards, provides endless experiences of the glorious white stuff.
Winter warmth: I love warm cozy clothes; this is sweater weather! Warm hats and mittens; all manner of scarves and outerwear contribute to layered comfort. Warmth comes in many forms: a roaring fireplace, winter markets, warm blankets, good tea, and mulled wine. Winter warmth can best be enjoyed by having experienced the brisk temperatures of outdoors.
The gifts of winter are all about, even the ones that are difficult to see. Winter weather bids us to entertain quiet pursuits; to reflect; pause; gaze at the snow coming down; engage in quiet conversation; and dwell in possibilities. For it is in winter that nature slows down and invites us to do the same. All of it can be a pleasing kind of hibernation that enables our interior lives to flourish before we are propelled outdoors into spring. Happy winter!
*Wiking, Meik. (2016). The Little Book of Hygge. The Danish Way to Live Well. Penquin Random House.