Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter reflections

I have officially hit a slump. Call it the mid winter blues if you will but I have hit hard. I used to love winter back when I could actually snowboard. Two kids and no money makes that pretty hard these days. Everything seems harder in the winter. Putting on and taking off all the necessary layers multiple times a day, trying to find a way to exercise the dog, and trying to find a way to exercise me are adding up to my hatred of winter. I am a summer gal. I am a garden goddess. I need to spend at least part of every day digging in the dirt. I love taking breaks from working by sitting in the warm sun in my backyard with a cup of tea.

Now I sip my tea indoors, looking out my back slider at the mounds of snow covering my garden beds, covering my backyard living space, covering up my release. I feel stuffed. Stuffed inside this tiny cottage with no privacy, no air, no movement. During the summer my living space expands and I finally have more room to breath. My deck becomes my night time hang out - giving my husband and I space if we need it. I can talk on the phone in peace or build a backyard fire to relax and get away from the computer and TV.

I love my backyard. Every winter around this time I start planning my garden. What to plant in the existing beds, where to put some new beds, what part of the yard I can dig up and transform this year. I enjoy making a garden journal with my children. We list out what we want to plant, make a map, and then we take before and after pictures each season. It is also a great way to record what worked or didn't work in your garden.

Winter isn't all that bad I guess. I do welcome the slowness and reflection it brings each year. I am not quite sure I would actually want to garden all year long. It is nice to take a break from yard work and get refreshed for the next season. I love watching my kids playing in the snow. There is something priceless about the simple act of sledding, building snowmen, and sticking you tongue high into the air to catch a fresh flake.

I guess instead of letting the winter blues take over I will choose to enjoy the last few months where it is ok to slow down and reflect. Summer will be here before I know it and so will raking leaves, entertaining two kids on vacation, daily yard work, bike rides, trips to the lake, park adventures, camping, house projects - and the list goes on and on. See, I'm exhausted already just talking about it. Instead I will go start up the wood stove, make a pot of tea and enjoy the winter stillness.


Nuclear Mom said...

Nice post - you very easily paint a picture of winter from your eyes. It is interesting to me as I am the opposite. Since we moved here to WA state's banana belt, I have learned to enjoy the summer. I do love the long days and miss the daylight in the dead of winter. But aside from that I love everything about wintertime.

Jodi said...

I don't think I could ever live up North again through a winter because of all of those reasons that you listed. But there is nothing, nothing, nothing like a New England summer. I find them absolutely amazing and such a wonderful thing to look forward to! At least your summers are not 85 degrees with 80% humidity!

rockergirrl said...

The sad thing is that I am actually starting to enjoy the summers even less now too because the weather in general here seems to have gotten so much more extreme. It used to be that the summer storms didn't start until July. Now we have thunder storms as early as April. Last summer we even had tornado watches a few times. Blah.

Sarah O. Green said...

I hear you. I remember those winters...
When your kids are old enough to go on their school's downhill program (don't most VT schools have them?) you can go as a chaperone. that's the only way I've afforded to snowboard for years.