Winter Has Come…
And just like that, the start of the year is gone, and we find ourselves bracing for the wind, rain and cold weather of winter.
Winter has never been my favourite season – mainly because it means spending less time outside enjoying the sunshine and more time indoors and inside my own head.
I guess the secret to surviving any season of our lives is to turn towards the things (and people) we love, and embrace the changes as they come – from the falling leaves to the frost on our windows – anything is beautiful if you look at it in the right way.
‘Acceptance of a thing makes it easier … No amount of resisting ever kept winter from coming.’
– Scott Tracey
Keeping Ourselves Warm…
Winter in the Flinders Ranges, Australia, where I spent my teenage years, was cold as frozen iron, where the slate floors threatened to freeze you where you stood and the frost on the windows made the dull morning sun dance in a thousand directions on the walls.
The rain came down in sheets, following the hastily dug trench Dad would dig in a bid to direct the water away from the house, winding its way down the driveway and onto the dirt road where we lived, until it pooled in big puddles for days after.
The icy drafts blew through the house, where our old cottage would whistle through the cracks in the french windows. We would all huddle under blankets in the lounge room, where the open fireplace crackled, filling the room with warmth. I’d wake up in the early hours of the morning to Dad stoking the embers, making sure the fire didn’t go out before it was time for us to get up and get ready for school.
In our house, the rule was, we would walk to school, unless it was raining. So most mornings, we would rug up in scarves, gloves and beanies, and trudge down our dirt road until we reached town. The icy wind bit at exposed faces and ankles, and by the time we reached school, our cheeks would be raw and rosy from the cold.
Winter was a time for connection, and reflection, and so it has stayed that way for me. Even now, when the wind starts to blow and the rain hits my windows, I crave the company of loved ones and remember the winters that have passed and how nothing stays the same from season to season.
Midway through a particularly cold winter one year, on a cold Sunday morning, I found out a friend of mine had passed away the night before. I still remember the way the sky looked that day – how the clouds blanketed the town as I rode my bike through the lonely streets, wishing it would just pour down with rain and wash me away.
There’s something strangely nostalgic about the melancholia I get as the days darken.
Winter Doesn’t Last Forever.
If you’re like me, winter can be a bittersweet time – on the one hand, it can be filled with the memories of younger years and on the other, it can be a time of immense sadness.
I’ve found that the best way to get through winter is to embrace the darkness, in order to appreciate the warmer months.
What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of the winter to give it sweetness?
– John Steinbeck
Take time during winter to look after yourself, to reflect and prepare for a new season – like a caterpillar waiting to transform. There is beauty hidden in the darkest of places, but it is only us who can find it and appreciate it. It’s surprising, how much optimism we actually have, if only we change the way we think about things.
And I’ve found that the best way to change the way you think, is to find a new perspective. Whether that might be taking a class, volunteering at a shelter, listening to someone over a coffee, reading a biography or simply asking questions – winter is the perfect opportunity to do it.
Let’s Look After Each Other.
As we head into winter, it’s easy to hide away, slip under the radar and go into ‘hibernation’.
It’s also easy to forget that the people around you might need to be pulled out of their slump too.
So let’s not forget about the people around us, and the people right in front of us as the cold sets in. Winter doesn’t stop for anyone, and the rain will fall on us all, regardless of our age, gender, race or any other factor.
Let’s lift each other up, keep each other warm, and offer a helping hand.
‘People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.’
– Anton Chekhov
I hope you all keep warm and happy as the cold sets in, and I look forward to hearing from you all, as I have in the previous months! As always, feel free to connect with me on social media, or contact me if you need a friend, some advice or just someone to talk to.
Have an amazing June! X