What does winter look like?
I don’t know what the climate is like from where you are reading this, but here it is cold. I mean proper nose running, eyes watering, ears turning red type cold. And grey. Days and days of cloudy grey-ness, with frequent drizzle just for good measure. Longing for some real sunlight to bring warmth to my body and my psyche.
A friend of mine wrote on his Facebook page: “I really enjoy Winter. The glowering sky is just so majestic, the wood fire so inviting. I find that Winter is just so character building. However, just today, just for the moment, I think my character might be built up enough.”
I need inspiration to provide the sunlight within. Like Wordsworth, sometimes (when on my couch I lie/In vacant or in pensive mood) I need to remember the daffodils and their joyous dance of golden colour. So I have made a list of some of the things that are winter for me this year. There are things I enjoy and things that are difficult – like so much of our lives, I find myself somewhere in the mix.
- Yellow – no daffodils here but the first signs of blossoming wattle. A burst of stored sunlight brilliant against the constant grey, reminding me that winter is not permanent.
- Putting on layers of clothing, hat, scarf, boots and a wind and rain-proof coat. Then walking to the beach and letting the icy wind blow my mind clear.
- Trying to get the washing dry and ending up with drying racks in the dining room and clothes draped over the back of chairs.
- Not being able to take the grandchildren outside to burn off energy. Inside games become increasingly frenetic and fraught.
- The wind whipping itself to a frenzy and the glass cabinet rattling from the shuddering attacks, as I lie in bed kept awake with the noise yet feeling warm and secure.
- Sitting on the sofa with a hot cup of tea, snuggled under a soft blanket and watching Le Tour de France. Wishing I could win the trip cruising down the Seine in the French summer (although I’d settle for the Greek Islands)!
- Beginning a stroll with my father in the showery rain, which swiftly turns to a storm. We end up completely soaked despite our umbrellas and we laugh and laugh.
- Feeling physically ‘under the weather’ (an apt phrase) as my body currently is trying to not succumb to the sniffling, coughing, body-aching type of lurgy that is going around. So I sit here like Eeyore, ready to see every cloud as a personal affront and willing to complain with long slow sighs to anyone who will listen.
- Learning to cook with a friend; being warmed by both the food and the camaraderie.
My experiences differ from one year to the next, from season to season and even hour to hour. For me it is helpful to remember that health, weather and other circumstances may certainly influence my view of life but they don’t define who I am. Winter, in all its drabness or fury or beauty or comfort, will yield to Spring. And in the meantime, I’m having another cup of tea!