Winter is probably a lot of gardeners least favorite time of the year. It’s dark. It’s grey. It’s cold. After the holidays, the longest time seems to exist from January til March/April/May when things start to liven up. But what if we looked at winter a little differently. For some, this is possible; for others, don’t worry, there are southern climates for you to visit and recharge in.
Looking at winter as a chance to rest can change your entire outlook on the season. It is a dreamy and dark period of time. No wonder coziness, hygge, and just plain old hibernation are associated with the winter months. Fires, candles, warm blankets, hot food, and hot drinks all bring us a a sense of ease when things are damp and cold. This is when plants and animals are at rest, trying to survive with the sustenance summer and fall provided. They lived the growing season to its fullest and are awaiting the Spring to grow again with vigor. The plan, to come back larger and stronger. We can do the same. Taking winter as a moment to realign with what you are planning to do this next year, garden wise and beyond, you can prepare yourself for the challenges that happen naturally as you grow.
Life is rhythms of cycles. With the simplicity of a new day, we are reminded of our most common cycle. Try waking up before the day begins to see the night stars move out of view and to watch the sky turn to day. The brilliance of the sunrise is short but stunning, like a spark of inspiration. This blatant show of color is no where else in the natural world during northern winter. Through the silence and cold, it shines.
Why not take the sparks of inspirations you find in winter and expand on them. Let’s take a garden for instance. This is your time to refine what you want to grow. Maybe you live in an area of the world that doesn’t get the best produce at the grocery and you want to start eating better. Grow. Maybe you love flowers and want to have fresh bouquets everyday. Grow. Maybe you want trees and shrubs to create privacy and provide shelter for birds. Grow. Winter is the time to get these ideas rolling. Like the short intensity of colors from the sunrise, these moments of yearning and eureka can be made into reality. Use the time in winter to keep them in your mind’s eye and expand. Research and experiment. Play.
Winter can be healing. It can slow us down. It can allow us the time and space to dream.