Oh, Winter

Oh, winter. You’re wearing me out.

I should be able to love you.  With your beautiful tree silhouettes against dreamy blue, pink and purple skies.  And your frosts and hints of snow.  And crisp days and squelchy mud.  I try.  I really try.

But you also bring grey.  Lots of grey.  Heavy skies that feel like they’re resting right on top of your head.  Dreary drizzle.  Torrential rain.  And with that the need for layers and rainsuits and wellies. Which would be fine but nobody wants to wear them. So each time we leave the house we have 5-year-old confidence that he will NOT get cold and DOESN’T MIND getting wet, mixed with strong and loud toddler refusal.  Outerwear, as of the past two weeks, is deemed optional and even an approaching jumper gets shouted at.

Winter always gets to me eventually.  Despite my resolve to embrace it and not whinge about it.  My motivation still takes a real hit.  If I could hibernate under layers and layers of blankets things I would.

What’s getting me through this winter, so far, is:

:: gazing at the dreamy skies whenever and wherever I can
:: venturing outside as much as we can handle
:: layering up, all of us, so the cold doesn’t get in – I really feel the cold, but layers of head-to-toe wool, sheepskin slippers and this awesome weatherproof coat are going a long way
:: never knowingly being more than a foot from a toasty hot water bottle at night!
:: stirring up bottomless soups, curries, casseroles and chillies, warming from the inside out
:: soaking up the beautiful wintery songs and stories Ruben brings home from kindergarten – such goodness
:: saying yes – to any and all invitations of company, play and fun – because though the instinct says ‘hibernate’, the soul is lifted by lovely friends and family
:: giving in to cake – and when feeling virtuous baking sweet treats without sugar for the best of both worlds, sugar-free comfort
:: nodding to the spring with bulbs inside and the odd jug of (British!) flowers – not wishing the time away, not rushing Spring, just remembering that it’s coming and with it a different energy
:: smiling at the bold little shoots peeping through outside, particularly those we planted along the kindergarten pathway at Michaelmas, which escaped the hungry squirrels who it seemed had other plans for them
::  embracing the season for my little ones with a basket of beloved wintry books, making paper snowflakes for windows and enjoying little seasonal table scenes put together by a little boy who adores the snowglobe his Grandma gave him for Christmas

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‘King Winter now is in the land,
he reigns with cold and freezing hand.
He makes Jack Frost touch nose and toes,
and gives our cheeks a shining glow’

Here’s to that shining glow to carry us through.

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