I have a new project. I’m going to shift my mindset and decide that I love winter. I must. I dread the season so entirely that it does me in. So, instead, I will do as the Norwegians suggest and embrace it. Thank you, Maggie Moris, for finding this article. We have already made a few of these suggestions a part of our lives but now I will learn to appreciate the rest. I may even go outside into the cold. I will be grateful for koselig.
As I look back over nearly a year of proclamations of gratitude, I note that spring and summer and fall each earned excitement. Beautiful seasons, each one of them. And then there’s winter. I have a hard, harder, hardest time being grateful for winter. I remember too many years of cars not starting, sliding off the road, tow trucks, and oops-a-daisy falls. But if this year has taught me anything, it’s that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for in each challenging aspect of life. Ta-da! I am grateful that winter provides contrast. How did I do?
When I am feeling the winter blues, I am grateful for the spectacular beauty of the blues of winter.
Snow is falling rapidly today. Schools are closed. We will break an all-time record for February snowfall, with more to come over the weekend. Even as I rail against ice, snow, and cold, I marvel that winter can be stunningly beautiful. I am grateful for today’s joyous soundtrack, Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” but particularly “Winter” as played by Itzhak Perlman, with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta.
It is very cold outside. It’s going to get colder. And it will snow. It will snow a great deal tomorrow. My thoughts turn, without help, to spring and gardens and planting. Seed catalogues are filled with color and dreams, the scents of soil and flowers and greens. The tenderness of sunlight and shade. It is gratifying to know that people have sought a winter lifeline in seed catalogues for more than one hundred years. The artwork is an inspiration.
In 2014, we began hosting a game night for six Friday nights during January and February. Steve and I were having a tough time with winter and grief. We suspected that surrounding ourselves with friends and playing games would be a healthy—and fun—prescription. We were right!
The games are designed to fit a theme, several people take a turn hosting an evening, and the laughter, talents, and wisdom are always heartwarming. I am grateful for those warm hearts, the avid game-playing, and the creative efforts of this very dear group of people because, really, it’s not about the games … it’s about the people. If you’re looking for a way to brighten your winter, give game nights a try!
Year Five began last Friday night. The theme was “Harmony & Understanding,” a look back at 1968 to 1972. Thanks to David for taking photos. Not all participants are pictured here; poor health kept some people away—get well, everyone!)