The last few weeks of Winter can be hard. It can feel like we are in a grey no mans land waiting for Spring to arrive in all its vibrant glory.
The cosy jumpers have lost their novelty, the sparkle of Christmas has been relegated to the attic, the excitement of a new year has started to wain, our bodies are low on vitamin D, we are rundown by the seemingly never ending onslaught of cold and flu season. We are tired of the mostly grey days and cold temperatures.
I have found the first few weeks of this year really hard, wishing away the days, willing Spring to arrive. Only allowing myself to focus on the greyness of the days, the lack of colour in the trees and hedgerows. I have let myself become miserable and rundown; blaming winter, the lack of sunshine, the lack of colour, anticipating the arrival of Spring as though it will be some sort of magic cure to my gloominess. Talking to others it seems I am not alone in feeling this way.
By unknowingly becoming so caught up in the perceived gloominess of winter I have prevented myself being able to see its beauty. In simple terms, without winter there would be no spring. On the surface these long months may seem quite baron, void of life and activity but beneath the cloak of winter, nature is busy gathering its resources and energy, preparing to burst into life and provide us with a beautiful, breathtaking Spring. Without this chance to rest there are many plants, animals and aspects of nature that would be unable to thrive. Winter is natures way of nurturing all we associate with it.
Without winter, spring and summer wouldn’t feel so spectacular, we wouldn’t notice them in the same way we do or fully appreciate how vibrant and full of colour they are.
We also, like nature, need this time of turning inward, of cosying up and resting. Modern day life is so fast paced and its all too easy to burn out. Therefore how wonderful is a season that encourages us to slow down, with its longer nights, shorter days and colder temperatures. So maybe instead of focusing on the grey days, the lack of colour, the coldness we need to look deeper and appreciate winter for what it really is – a time for rest; a time to slow down, reflect, and appreciate the miracle that is Nature.
These coming weeks are definitely winters last stand, slowly but surely glimpses of green are starting to creep back into the hedgerows, the birds are returning and there is much more birdsong to be heard from the treetops. The days are gradually getting longer, snowdrops carpet patches of ground that were previously bare. Nature is starting to wake up from its much needed rest with sunnier days full of colour ever closer.
Its exciting and the prospect of the warmer, more colourful months ahead is a wonderful one. However try not to be in such a hurry for the coming seasons that you forget to relish these last few weeks of winter, to take one final chance to rest and fully appreciate the slow, understated and often overlooked beauty of Winter.