Slowing Down: Just Follow Nature’s Lead

While quite a few people seem to have driven themselves into a frenzy of Christmas anxiety buying stuff and doing things, I have slowed to a very relaxed pace. Nature gives us ample hints this time of year. Early darkness makes it inadvisable to carouse outside and cold makes it uncomfortable. We’re invited in. Light the fire. Light the candles. Cook warming meals. Snuggle up with a good book or some music. Rest. Reflect. Take a breath. Nature is at rest now, however glorious a few of its displays might be.

Nandina's other name is 'heavenly bamboo,' though it isn't related to bamboo.  It's quite as good as holly for cheering a garden.

Nandina’s other name is ‘heavenly bamboo,’ though it isn’t related to bamboo. It’s quite as good as holly for cheering a garden.

The greens are pale, leaves mostly gone. Each year I watch this and it comes too soon.

Barboursville ruins in Orange County Virginia, on a cold late fall day.

Barboursville ruins in Orange County, Virginia, on a cold late fall day.

I used to dread and fight the change of season, but now I try to relax into it. Because here’s the thing: it’s not the timing, sooner or later than expected, but the reminder to hunker down, stock the pantry, gather the firewood, acknowledge the darkness, that matters.

This time of year, you really do have to watch for the light.

This time of year, you really do have to watch for the light.

Just as there is high summer, there is also midwinter, and we were warned. We’re warned every year. Bottle the light. Lay in a store of cheer. Weave a warm cloak with the soft yarn of your life. Merry Christmas and very best wishes for the new year.

In spite of the cold and dormancy, winter is often one of the best times to see  gardens.  So get out if you can.

In spite of the cold and dormancy, winter is often one of the best times to see gardens. So get out if you can.

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6 Responses to Slowing Down: Just Follow Nature’s Lead

  1. Robin says:

    Beautiful post. It truly is a good idea to heed nature’s advice. 🙂

    Like

  2. KerryCan says:

    I love this post! You make such good points about the appeal of hunkering down and responding to winter’s imperative!

    Like

  3. arlingwoman says:

    Having a garden that’s big enough to make me grateful to put it to bed for the winter helps.

    Like

  4. pauljoeRTW says:

    What a wonderful post! Thank you for encouraging me to reflect more deeply on winter’s charm. I especially loved the photo of the snowy field and footprints. Happy New Year.

    Like

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