Sithean’s landscape turns to frosted magic when the snow falls, as it did this weekend, before turning back to January levels of bitter cold again. Our weekends have been unplanned and relaxed lately, and while we interrupted our spending freeze to go to the movies yesterday, it’s been mostly pleasant to be at home with little calling our attention other than the day to day chores around the house.
Sunday morning, after a great evening with an old friend and her daughter, complete with chicken parmesan and ice cream sandwiches made with Karen’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, I woke up to about 5 inches of snow on the ground and no where in particular to be. I fed the bunnies, curled up on the couch, and enjoyed the lingering warmth from the last night’s fire in the wood stove.
Today is busier – the roads are clear enough for me to run, and I head to the airport in the afternoon. But since it’s a holiday, it’s a quiet morning here, with a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs for everyone and no particularly pressing needs to be met. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a million things we could be doing – house projects, decluttering, but January is also the time to remember that we are human beings, not human doings. I’m a huge goal-setter, and I mostly measure a good day by how much I have accomplished, but there’s a very great deal to be said for just sitting and thinking.
As I watch the bird feeder out the living room window and think about nothing in particular, it’s a great reminder that my life is particularly blessed. I live in a place that takes my breath away. I have a wonderful family, great friends and health. Gratitude, something I practice actively, comes easily when the world is still and peaceful.
Still, my mind wanders to spring. Will the bulbs Eli and I planted come up around the Seckel Pear? Will the baby fruit trees survive the winter? Should I try for 2 plantings in the garden this year, even though I only managed on last year? I want to do more companion planting as well, and work on truly turning the front garden into a sea of herbs. A plan is required, as it always is, and it’s never something that I come to quickly.
As I get older, I appreciate winter more. I’ve come to realize the point of January is daydreams, sleeping in, plans, sitting with one’s thoughts. Spring will arrive, as it always does, with a frenzy of planting and work, and I’ll be lost in it. But for a few fleeting weeks, there’s a breath in the business of life, and while I may never enjoy being cold, I have learned gratitude for this necessary point in the year that reminds me that respite and rest are just as much a part of humanity as accomplishing things.