Friday, November 29, 2013

I'm Ready For a New Year

As the cold and mist settle in and the last leaves flutter down from bare branches, I am ready to welcome winter, and say farewell to 2013. 

Since moving to a country with the four seasons, I have learned what the cold season means for my soul. It's a quiet, contemplative time. A time to gather your nerves, hunker down, light candles, and be strong. The survivor inside of me is called forth. I cook hearty meals and am challenged with extra chores like washing salt and mud from doggy paws after walks and dressing my wriggly toddler in many layers before each outing. 

Long icy winters build character. They test your patience and optimism. I appreciate people who appreciate winter. When someone says, "I love winter," they are immediately a bit more charming to me. 

As much as winter wears on me by the time February rolls around, I really love the beginning. The first snow; that clean, pure smell the air has on a freezing winter evening. The glow of warm homes, dots of lights in the velvety dark blue of night. The lemony morning sky. Gathering evergreen and pine cones in the woods. Baking gingerbread and making lemon curd. Piling the quilts on the bed and waking up to a snow covered world.

I have been trapped at home all week with a sick boy. I think we have passed the worst. We had some pretty horrible days and nights. And as you can imagine, I am longing for the woods, for fresh air, for moving my legs, watching my boy as he scrambles up hillsides and climbs wood piles. I miss taking photographs and observing the daily minute changes in our forest. 

Surely Rafael misses it all too.



  1. hello dear friend,
    I know just how you feel with your love for winter. It is so beautiful and cleansing, yet by February, I will be ready for the return of the sun.
    This year has been a journey for you my friend, I hope this final month can be one of reflection. I love how December has us slow down, be quiet and warm up.
    Love love love :)

  2. Your photographs always amaze me, Dawn! You have such a touch with the camera!

    I'm sorry to hear that Rafael has been ill. Hopefully he is on the road to recovery now.

    xo Nellie

    1. Thank you so much Nellie, that is so kind, I love getting positive feedback!

  3. I love winter too. (maybe it's my Alaskan roots showing?) ;-)

  4. I use to hate winter...I live in a non-4 season area to top it off! But as I've grown older, I've learned to be content, even to enjoy the small details of change in our seasons.

    We have had a rough two years here at our place. We have experienced deaths and some other major losses and unfortunately next year is not looking good either (our elderly extended family are very frail). My husband and I are trying to prepare the best we can.

    Like you, I'm still very thankful for the precious things God has given us but it is very very hard not to have a heavy heart.

    Thank you for giving me the four seasons through your blog and also for sharing your thankfulness and your heavy heart.

  5. Your blog is lovely, both the photos and words. Living as I do in the southeastern USA, I am a little envious of others who live where the seasons are more distinct. Thanks for sharing with those of us who can't live where we would like to. I appreciate your sharing and honesty.

  6. Hello! Sweet Dawn, In direct contrast we are moving into our hot summer here in Australia. I particularly love seeing your pictures this time of year because while I am sweltering, your photos always transport me to the cool & crispness I long for! Our winters are very mild compared to yours but I still relish winter and spring - though they feel short in comparison to the time we experience heat. Breathtaking photos and delightful prose as per usual. Thank you x K-L

  7. I loved every word of this, it spoke to me! Thank you!

  8. As always, your photographs are beautiful. I'm sorry your little guy has been sick. I hope he is well again soon!

  9. Hi Dawn! Your photos continue to be more beautiful and more inspiring with every post:) What a gift you have!! I also love the parade of seasons (I live in Pennsylvania), soaking in the joys of the present season, while looking forward to the blessings of the next:) Happy Winter to you and your family!!

  10. Here's to 2014! May it be brighter for us all.


  11. Your words are so poetic like the most beautiful of songs. I have always loved Autumn but these past few years have grown to love winter even more...because of the quiet...and contemplation...and barrenness. I just closed my etsy shop so that I can truly enjoy these first weeks of winter that I love so much and have my heart a place that I can truly embrace Christmas...and then the weeks to follow into January.



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