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.