Did you get any presents from Nature this Winter? I did – with the first one right on my birthday 🙂 Most Nature gifts this winter for me were anchored on gorgeous snow – or frosts, of all kinds and textures.
With my Birthday in winter a big part of me is winter (incidentally, ‘Winter’ also happens to be my natural ‘season’ colouring). Winters back home in Eastern Europe were cold, long and snowy so there is no surprise that I love snow.
Here in the UK it took me a long time to adjust to ‘all Winter and no Snow…’ but I came to love the UK winters as an invitation to rest; now every Winter feels like a low key but much needed reset of sorts.
The UK winters are also mild – meaning we can have beautiful, local, robust, totally free (if you have at least a pot of your balcony) and very generous perennial green salads such as land cress growing boldly, all winter long!
Some winters I get a gift of snow from UK weather which feels special every single time and is a total Soul food for me. There have been at least 2 very special snow stories I have around my birthdays – and a little snow story December 2020 was one of them 🙂
Feeding the Soul: inter-season review
End of winter smoothly transitions to a biggest (in terms of importance) inter-season in nature so it’s vital to get both the winter and this inter season right. Well known health focuses aside (Immune system; Kidneys Health), I came to realise that our Soul and Innermost Self health – such as Sheltering the Spirit – should be our primary focus at this time. A strong Spirit will warm the Soul and support the Body.
Winter reflects Kidneys energy in TCM and so ‘the Seed’ concept. In Winter we go deep to connect with our Inner Self, and the Soul. Without this happening – and us consciously registering the experience – there will be no real new Growth in Spring, no Joy in Summer and no Harvest in Autumn. Everything starts from a seed, and we all have an internal start in Winter, right in the middle of most cold and dark days, the most Yin part of the year. Water feeds Wood in a ‘constructive cycle’ of TCM 5 elements. The Wood, the Spring, is start of vigorous action. So it is very important to do the ‘Water’ part right.
Now, with the main part of winter being over let’s meet new, beautiful but physiologically taxing, inter season.
A big part here is gratitude and being present.
I started noticing details, quality of snow as a part of our Cafe Self winter exercise. What I discovered, was that all my notes without fail would end up with ‘THANK U, NATURE!!’ so it turned out to be an exercise on Gratitude 🙂
It’s amazing that when we pay attention to here and now – and little details – we begin to feel naturally happier, so THANK U, Nature, for all these abundant gifts in winter 2020/2021!!!
- Surprise snow: Plus a Full Moon rise on my birthday – the first snow of the whole winter, magical!!
- ‘Real’ snow: Gorgeous knee deep snow at the end of January in a local park
- Frosty grass: Cold and fully beautiful Imbolc with blue skies, sunshine, very little wind and delicious little frozen grass patches making crisp sounds under our feet. First snowdrops!
- ‘Hidden’ snow: Snowy tree tops immediately became my Sat Nav on a day when after going though a little patch of very dark forest we came to absolutely beautiful, light and airy snow covered area; and if that was not enough at the top of the area and the edge of the forest there were trees creating interesting sounds in the wind (how many times I was in the forest…but I never truly noticed let along felt the sound of the wind….).
- Dry snow: Very cold and windy day with not much snow but snow which we did see was like little white grains scattered on the ground; separate from each other and not forming one whole, so interesting; and we had some snow flurries touching our faces.
- Wet snow: That day we got to walk on the snow sort of ankle deep – and beautiful in sunshine though weather was still windy and cold. And the highlight of the day was this tiny little brook under a thin cover of ice, in a cosy tree alley: flowing water formed some magically shaped bubbles under the ice – beautiful!
What is your Winter Gratitude 2021?
So, my every ‘snow day’ was different – even in the same area, with little change in actual snowfall. Without being present (me in the past) I would have just said: ‘We took long walks for 3 days in a row when there was some snow’.
A summary of the list above was my answer to a question ‘how your winter has been?’. There has been also plenty of drama and health issues and difficulties and house remodel related craziness and all that. And it’s easy to focus on daily drama. But every season (every month, every week, every day!) has something unusual to it and for me the winter 2020-2021 was about snow. It connected me to what I felt internally – gratitude to life, and the weather, and nature – through simple observation of nature.
- What were highlights of your Winter this year?
- What have you being grateful for?
- How do you engage into an art of life consciously counterbalancing your daily drama with observation of nature, connection with people or whatever else works for you (all the while working on resolving daily drama calmly, patiently and consistently?
- What were good things about this particular winter for you?
- What was unique about this particular winter?
- What worked? What didn’t?
- What do you need to let go of (with love and more gratitude) to make space for the new?
I’d encourage you to make a gratitude list of good things – including surprise gifts – from this winter; especially if you are ‘not a winter person’; or if this winter didn’t quite go the way you wanted it to. Consciously focusing on good experiences you can plan to recreate them for your future winters. What a really great closure of Winter 2021 it will be 🙂