To know the wealth and abundance of leisure time…
There are three weeks left of Winter. Or three weeks more.
Next year, I will be better prepared for the practice of wintering.
I never want to find myself, “Doing everything that ends up looking like nothing but one long haze of frantic activity with all the meaning sheared away.” *
I didn’t know I was in a haze – until I wintered. I was then able to see the useless, ungraceful swirling and twirling of my living.
I was franticing along, always in a state of unknown but known disappointment.
Winter made an appointment with me to cleanse my frantic soul. Winter snowed me in. She sat me down for days, with nowhere to go, and we began the therapeutic work of Wintering.
A small sadness comes over me, to think I only have three more weeks. I have few words to express the gift and wealth (wellness and health) of this abundant time in restorative leisure.
Priceless free time.
This was my first Wintering, and I wonder how my life would have been different if I had known. If I had known the gifts of Winter.
Winter gave me a white canvas of external snow, and an internal canvas of undemanded time.
Oh, there was demand upon my time; there were appointments in person and online, but Winter had different appointments for me. She snowed me in and blew away the internet.
Winter created a storm outside so I could begin to calm the storm inside.
It’s been a time of finding more inner comforts, less external convenience.
A time of less external connections and more internal ones.
The more and less of Wintering.
There were internal parts of myself that I had long forgotten, but deeply longed for. My heart ached for the innerness of my being, and Winter returned this to me.
Winter re.paired me with the innerness of my beingness.
Next year I will “make ready” in pre-winter, so I can give my fullest attention to the warmth of Winter’s embrace. I will start in October, before harvest. I will fix, repair, and collect firewood. I will prepare food of soup, casserole, and of comfort. I will store food as a means to ‘make ready’ for the arrival of unexpected guests.
I will need to prepare a winter wardrobe of Hygge. Hoo-guh. A Norwegian term, hugga, means; to comfort, and is related to the English word hug.
I’d forgotten how to rest – to deeply rest in simple pleasure. I had almost forgotten what pleasure was.
The pleasure of:
smelling freshly brewed coffee
the scent of chamomile tea with honey
warming hands around a hot mug
crisp cold air in the lungs
cashmere socks & cardamom buns *
The loss of life’s simple pleasures – the loss of pleasure – the loss of felt-pleasure…is an aching illness (opposite of wellness). This type of illness takes many forms.
SAD: seasonal affective disorder.
I do think there’s a sadness that comes over us in the Winter, but I think it’s a soul’s sadness for loss, for grief; for things lost amidst our haze of frantic doing.
That SAD.ness within me, was healed by the well.ing embrace of Winter’s Hug & Hygge.
Winter is teaching me to re.order my seasons, so as to not experience seasonal affective disorder, but to re.order the seasons, to live life more effectively.
I have three more weeks of Winter.
The tint of sadness I hold, is/as I linger and cling to the Hug, for three more weeks.
I will then slowly release my clinging from Winter’s Hug, and start taking root in Spring.
I will begin planting new seeds of the life that Winter graciously bestowed upon me.
* Special thanks to Katherine May for introducing me to, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times.
Signe Johansen, “How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life.”
Louisa Thomsen Brits, “The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection.”