If you live in the Northeast or any other cold part of the country/world, this can be a tough time of year. Temperatures are regularly in the single digits or below freezing. There are official warnings to stay indoors. Cabin fever sets in and, if you're like me, a bit of guilt over your winter-induced laziness. Factor in the likelihood of catching a seasonal cold or the flu and we've got the makings of a full-blown pity party. So grab some comfort food and give yourself a few moments of pity, but then you must snap out of it.
On days like this, I need to remind myself that warmth is enough. I bring my gratitude practice right down to the bare basics, starting with being so grateful for my warm house and cozy fireplace, for having a car to get me places and enough warm clothes to keep me safe and bundled up. Some weeks, this is the most creative I can get with my gratitude, even though I could fill books with all of the things I am thankful for.
But right now, I'm grateful to be warm.
I'm reading Woodswoman, the first of a few memoirs that Annie LaBastille wrote about living alone in the Adirondacks. Annie begins her story in the heart of Adirondack winter as Annie's respect for the season's harshness grows with every adventure and narrow miss. I read it from the comfort of our bed or from beneath an afghan on the couch. And I come back to the realization that, sometimes, the warmth is enough. It's enough to be warm and safe right now.
There's a different rhythm to the season, that's for sure. I can write all day long about the need to embrace it, to celebrate it as a time for retreat and reflection, but when it comes to everyday practice, I'm falling short. So here's to staying warm! To thinking warmly about others and ourselves. To knitting and hot toddies and thick socks! To the days finally getting longer- it's 5:19pm and still a little bright out!