Last Sunday morning I awoke at where I was house sitting to this peaceful, rural New Hampshire scene.
It was impossible not to feel its serene effects, impossible not to be in awe of the dawn over one of natures magical changes of season. Even though the day before had been so stressful it felt like I had lost years off my life. I do not enjoy driving in the snow.
That is the main reason for my struggle with enjoying winter. The potential for the harming or loss of life has never felt worth whatever I am driving to. Unfortunately, the day before myself and two friends had been vending at a craft faire 50 minutes from where I was house sitting when the snow started. It took us 2 hours to get back there with sorry sights of many cars off the side of the road. There are two strong mentalities about winter where I live. 1. That no matter how much it snows we’re from New Hampshire and we can drive anywhere in this stuff! 2. The first true snow with accumulation is always surprising and everyone forgets how to drive in it. Contradictory, I know, and neither safe.
I do realise that I have somewhat extreme feelings about the matter, and am definitely a bit of a worrier, but it is possible to also be extreme in the other direction, which I think happens sometimes here. The end of this tale of caution is that I managed to get us all safely back to somewhere to stay and I am grateful that this year I have been blessed to be able to arrange my life in a way that will require my driving in the snow less, leaving me time and energy to enjoy it as it falls from the sky.
My secondary struggle with winter is new to me this year. I have been experiencing a shifting in myself concerning the holidays. I was brought up with what is considered the usual around here, which is fine, I had many an enjoyable festive season in my life. Many shifts have been happening for me this year and as December has approached (and arrived) it has become very clear that the holidays are now on the board for consideration. Having been brought up without any religious influence I suddenly feel like I am appropriating someone else’s holiday. Besides the fact, if I am not celebrating the religious aspects of the season, I am only caught up in the materialistic take over that has happened to a sacred time. Materialism has never been in good favour with me.
This year has also been one for the strengthening of my spiritual side, and the connection I feel with all that is around me, especially nature. Which means this time of year is definitely one with a call for celebration, as the days grow shorter and your mind, body, and spirit struggle to find the light they need, or maybe it is just trying to find a new rhythm for the season and not fighting to uphold the ways of summer year round. Let there be beautiful lights in the windows to guide our happiness, may there be reminders that nature will be green again soon, pray there be warmth and love for all.
And so it was that I decided to not encourage the chopping down of trees (plus not only would it be chopped, it would likely find itself down a few more times due to a certain wee beastie), but instead made an exchange for a few branches from a backyard tree for my decorations. It was another snowy day on Tuesday and the timing felt right for a little decorating. Now my partner is hard pressed to get me to turn on any actual lights, because I love living by the softness of these lights, perhaps with the flickering addition of candles.
I don’t know when this battle with winter began in my life, I certainly had no opposition to it as a child, but at some point that transition happened into adulthood and I swapped a little bit of joy for a little more stress. It is good to be responsible and not too risky, but it will do nothing for a person to lose joy. Besides, it is a losing battle to try and fight the seasons.
Nature is all flow and cycle, constant movement and constant change. It seems so obvious and yet why does the connection with it feel so far away? It is a focus of mine to find that connection again, for it seems to me to be full of sense and joy.So it was yesterday morning, a Sunday one week from the last, while I stood outside in the woods in a different location in Fitzwilliam, NH that something became apparent to me. Living in a small city has had its benefits, its experiences, and its conveniences (for which I am grateful), but I need to return to the woods and all the knowledge and energy it holds.
I wish a merry, happy, blessed time to one and all!
Fitzwilliam, NH – December 2017