While each season is enjoyable for its own reasons, winter is one of my favorites. It’s just so full of warmth, magic, and meaning.
Thanks to my pitta dosha, I prefer to be warm all. the. time. so winters here in Tennessee can be hard for me. Thankfully, though, there are things I can do to stay warm amidst the cold.
First, I always bundle up. I layer all of my clothes (even in summer), our warm coats are always near, and our closets are filled with wool socks, sweaters, toboggans, scarves, and boots. We bundle, especially when it snows.
Next, I don’t mind to keep our woodstove going non-stop. Yes, it means braving the cold to go outside and bring up pieces of wood a couple times a day, but it’s totally worth it. It’s a good reason to get outside, breath in fresh air, and get some exercise at the same time. Plus, having a fire burning is so comforting, and it makes home more of a sanctuary during the long, cold days of winter.
Lastly, I don’t mind eating hearty soups every day, and neither does my family. Warming foods that are easy to digest are at the top of our list come winter. So are root vegetables. We’re definitely seasonal eaters, or at least, I strive for us to be.
Am I the only one that thinks the long, cold, dark days of winter are enchanting and magical? If so, then you need to spend a winter or two in the woods.
You see, I used to dread winter. However, the more I slow down and spend my time doing things that nourish my body for the busy year ahead, the more I enjoy winter. I not only find time to nourish my body through food and herbs, but I nourish my mind and emotions by living slower, journaling, reading, working on creative projects, and spending time with friends and family. To me, winter is a time to fill my own cup so I can pour from it once spring arrives.
And then there are the woods during winter. Everything is bare and vulnerable, and that’s how I feel too. But I’m finding that in that vulnerability, we find ourselves, or little pieces of who we want to become. There’s truth there, you know? Also, when it snows, the woods are lovely. There’s a white dust that settles on everything. Everything is calm and quiet. The animals are buried deep inside their warm winter homes, and so am I. But then the sun comes out, and the white begins to melt. You can hear little drips of water everywhere, and if you pay attention, you can catch little quick movements of animals that venture outside of their homes to play and forage in the snow. Again, it’s magical!
Living slowly and intentionally is my goal during this cold, barren season, and while I personally learn so much during this time, I hope my children are also learning. One of my goals as a parent is to set an example of slow, intentional living for my kids so they learn to appreciate this way of life. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race and to live at that pace all the time. However, winter is the time to step back and slow down. It’s needed for our health, and I want my children to see me doing this.
As a child, the days can meld together, especially during winter when you’re stuck at home. Life can feel mundane and boring, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We parents can bring meaning into our children’s lives on a daily basis, and winter is a perfect time to do that, especially if we’re living slowly.
Because the winter season is filled to the brim with holidays, celebrations, and traditions, it can be a very meaningful time of the year for us as well as for our children. And while all holidays are meaningful in their own way, winter seems to be even more so because of the traditions and celebrations we incorporate into this time of year. Many traditions are the same year after year (like our Christmas Eve rituals), but some are new. In an effort to bring meaning into our and our children’s lives during this season, some holidays our family celebrates include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. We also incorporate traditions such as Advent, 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Solstice, and other Old World Yule rituals into the season as well.
So these are the thoughts going through my mind on this cold, snowy day. Thanks for reading them! Before you go, I’d love for you to share ONE of your favorite things about winter in the comments below (although you can share more than one if you’d like!).