How to Savour Winter not Suffer it

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Winter is my least favourite season. I really struggle with the cold weather and the dark mornings and evenings (and quite often in England, afternoons too!). It can feel like a time to just shut down or hibernate, or just to ‘get through’. Lately though, I’ve been making lots of resolutions to be grateful and hopeful, to live each moment well and to seek out beauty in the unexpected, all of which naturally lead me to a different approach to winter than simply trudging through it. I’ve been thinking about ways to savour winter, rather than suffer it, and here are a few of those thoughts…

Snowdrops

I’ve always loved snowdrops as they are the first bulbs to flower and are always appearing around my birthday time in February, which makes me feel like they are just for me. They are such a sign of hope. If you think about it, they’re invisible for 50% of the winter, but growing. How many of the things that we hope for in life are unseen and unknown to start with but are emerging before we even realise it? Plus, they have to push through dark and cold and tough ground to get to the beautiful stage, just like we sometimes have to persevere through tough times before we come into our own.

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Image found via Pinterest

Winter Walks

Winter walks are the tried and tested and perhaps even clicheed way of lifting our spirits in the dark, cold months. We need light and fresh air and exercise: it does us the world of good. I love the clear, crisp days and the winter light when it sparkles on frost or on the water running down the side of the lane.

In winter, you can often see more wildlife because there is less foliage. This year I’ve seen all kinds of birds, from Barn Owls to Plovers to Bullfinches. I’ve seen deer and hares and other wildlife too, and it just feels like such a privilege.

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Making the Indoors Extra Cosy

I’m all about blankets, fires and fairy lights! This week, our heating is broken so I’ve been mastering the art of making a great fire…

Start with coals and firelighters and one or two small logs. Be patient and allow it to get really hot, then start adding more coals and logs with a few more bits of firelighter and some paper to help it get going. As the logs start to burn down, shift them around a bit so the hottest parts stay together, and add more, again padding out with coal and paper.

 

lantern

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Reading

Being indoors with a fire and a blanket and a cuppa does lend itself to getting lost in a good book. Here are some of the books I’ve read this winter…

Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist – This is a collection of reflections on food, life and community, with recipes. I love the spirit of it and her writing style.

Cold Tangerines, by Shauna Niequist – About having an attitude of celebration in everyday life. Amen!

The Last Runaway, by Tracy Chevalier – A great novel about freedom, choice, identity and values.

Help Thanks Wow, by Anne Lamott – A few thoughts on prayer.

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Image found via Pinterest

Food, friends and Family

There is something very nourishing and warming about making food and sharing it, and people getting together just to spend time, eat and drink. I think each meal or snack can totally become a special occasion!

This week I tried a new recipe for Chicken in Red Wine sauce, which worked well, and we’re still using up the bread I made last week.

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This list barely scratches the surface of the things that are great about winter… Snow, slippers, jumpers and scarves and a load of other things are all so worth savouring too!

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Image found via Pinterest

You can see my Winter Pinterest board here.

What are you appreciating about Winter this week?

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