It scarcely seems possible to me that the Christmas and New Year’s festivities are behind us already; trees taken down, decorations safely stored away and the strings of outdoor lights no longer illuminated each night. Yet it feels to me like Advent began a mere fortnight ago, a sure sign my Yuletide flew by in a flurry of activities, visits, meals and merriment.
The Christmas spirit arrived early for me this year with the iciest December cold snap I can remember, and the prettiest, glittery, pure white snow on the ground. The unrelenting cold ensured there was no melting; slush makes the snow turn a horrible, dirty, depressing grey that does not glitter and absolutely does not feel festive! I’m glad we had the deep freeze in December but, I don’t know about you, it seemed to me that our winter arrived very early and suddenly; one week the forest floor was covered in dry, crunchy, kickable leaves and….
….the next week, all that pleasure was buried under our first snow fall.
“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event.
You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different,
and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found?”
I love winter because enchantment is always exactly what I feel when we’re in the throes of seasonal frost and snow. True that I complain about being cold but in truth, when the humidity of summer oppresses me, I find myself longing for this feeling – Priestley’s enchantment – the wonder that accompanies the arrival of frozen, snowy, blizzardy days. To thoroughly enjoy all of winter’s pleasures, I intentionally slow down, mindfully experience the wonder of it all, and store up new precious, frosty memories.
I couldn’t possibly choose just one good thing about winter – there are far too many – but here are some of my favourite things…
I love a cold front that brings with it those tingly, icy gusts, making the snow squeak as I walk my favourite paths at Presqu’ile Those bitterly cold blasts of arctic air that contrive to smell like winter create the most perfect kind of weather you could ask for.
Psithurism always inspires wonder; that dreamy sound of wind soughing through the trees on a blustery day, making the trees swoosh and sway, sounding for all the world, like the ocean’s waves.
Wonder also is waking up to a blizzard. This is one of my absolute favourite types of days; very few meteorological events are quite as compelling, making me oh-so-grateful to be warm. cosy and comfortable at home. Wouldn’t it be amazing if that feeling could be bottled and shared? Enchantment often envelops me on such blustery days, when we’re as snug as two bugs in a rug, sipping afternoon tea ’round the fire.
That too! A twinkling fire, with flames flickering and dancing behind the glass, never fails to set an almost magical mood of wonder in the winter months. In the warmth, I can indulge myself with a happy anticipation that any moment, more snow may begin to fall. On those days I often find myself daydreaming of the evening when we’ll snuggle around the fire, each of us with a good book.
Winter is the absolute best time for stargazing and where we live, far from the city’s bright lights, our winter nights fair glitter with a spectacular array of the brightest, most beautiful and wonderful displays the heavens have to offer. Even if I don’t want to venture out, on clear, cold nights it’s quite dreamy to open the shutters and stare up at the sky and imagine all the other curious folk doing the very same thing at that exact moment.
One last winter favourite: Candles. Really, does any object feel more homey, welcoming, warm and restful than a flickering candle? True that candles can be burned year-round, but I think they are robbed of the elements of enchantment and wonder when it is warm and light outside. Winter is definitely my favourite time for candlelight.
‘Til next time, y’all…