An Ode to Winter. Lets Hibernate!

In Europe we’ve just left Winter behind and it’s Spring. Soon though I will be heading back into the Australian Autumn and “Winter is Coming” [get it!] Ok, anyway it has reminded me of thoughts that had been percolating in my mind in the last couple of seasons I had spent in my own country. Things that I had been working on how to implement into my own life.

This post is NOT about gardening it’s just the book I was reading while working on “The Secret Garden” in Ireland triggered it. “A Gentle Plea For Chaos” by Mirabel Osler.  It is a delightful, beautifully written and funny account of her own and others gardens, gardening and gardeners in general. Mirabel had me at the first page and it was this that set my thought processes in this direction once more……

A gentle plea for chaos

Whether you are a gardener or not is not really relevant only the idea behind this. In Australia my thoughts had been turning to earlier generations where generally the rise and fall of seasons was payed more attention to in the forms of work and activities done or engaged in. Spring and Summer so busy with socialising and in a time of wide spread home gardens and home cooking – a flurry of cultivating, growing, weeding, picking, canning, pickling etc etc. Winter was indeed more a time of rest and hibernation. Knitting, crochet, stories around the radio.. more indoor pursuits. Shorter slower days… less jam packed. Cosy jumpers, book reading, early nights under fluffy quilts or blankets. Pots of tea and bed socks. A time for catching up on the things let slide or put on hold during the busy days of Summer. Some of those things remain of course.  In our modern culture more often than not though the only thing that changes is our clothes and the sports you may or may not be involved in or watching. With or without gardens our lives are as frenetic in Winter as they are the rest of the year. This time of year that nature and the earth in all her wisdom know is a time of rest. We push on relentless in our busyness.

Now I realise we can’t all just stop and snuggle in for the winter but what had been in my mind those last few seasons in Oz was if we couldn’t take just a bit more notice of the ebb and flo of the seasons and adjust our lives accordingly. The thought of a season of slower living was so enticing to me. To be planned for and enjoyed as such year after year – that sounded like something that I definitely wanted in my life. Hearty Stews and friends over for lunch. Catching up on books on the couch. Tea and lap rugs. Early nights. Trying that new indoor hobby. Scanning those photos you’ve been meaning to get to. Planning that new home renovation project. Attacking that paperwork beast once and for all. Trying to master that tricky cake recipe. Jam making. Home made Christmas Presents. Things absolutely to be delayed and pushed aside in days full of light and sunshine but perfect for colder winter months. A season for hibernation and rest. Time indoors with friends/family, board games, movies. Attending to the details of our lives that keep it on track, improve it or provide enjoyment and interest while honouring a season that is perfectly designed for that kind of slow time of rest and recuperation.  Taking  time to simplify and sort out anything that will give us more leisure time when the warm days start to coax us out of the house again.

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This seemed like the best of all worlds to me. A season of rest, comfort and rejuvenation that could also at the same time be used to take care of things that would free up more time for what we chose to do in those hazy days of Summer. So I thought I’d pass it on for your consideration too. Looking into the future I plan on structuring much different projects and down time during the Autumn / Winter seasons. It just appeals on so many levels and makes sense to me. Truly if it’s good enough for Mother Nature. It’s good enough for me.

What about you? What do think?

E x