Winter wonderland, can spring be far behind?

Snow covered bushes photo by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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The first fall of snow is not only an event, but it is also a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found. J.B. Priestley

Mother Nature has given us a lot to deal with this morning. Some dreams of a snow day have come true. My husband has already shoveled the driveway and my son in law has braved the snow to go to work. My daughter is reveling in a snow day.

I’m thankful to be snug and warm with nowhere to go today. Our little dog was surfing in the snow this morning when I let her out. She loves the snow for a little while, comes in, dries off, and then wants to go out again.

My husband jokes we should move to warmer climes. Would we miss the seasons if we lived in perpetual summer? The joy we feel each spring as chartreuse buds appear on trees would be one of the things we’d miss. In a book I have on color, chartreuse is called “dog barking green”. In some places, even the dogs are glad to see the first green of spring. Driving in spring and spying the first flowers blooming warms my heart.

How is it for those of you who have left four seasons? Do you miss the seasons? Is the joy we feel in spring worth it, or overrated?

Winter is a blessing and a curse, but more of a blessing in my opinion. It is my belief that society progressed because of the challenges we had to face in harsh climates. We don’t do things just to do them, we look for ways to deal with the challenges we face.

When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I’ll know I’m growing old. Lady Bird Johnson

Spring is coming soon and I have learned in my Horticultural society that some harsh climates have some of the most beautiful gardens. Overwintering container plants is popular in harsher climates. This allows the pots to be full and lush in a short growing season.

Spring is my favorite season. It is filled with promise, anything can happen in spring. We can only enjoy spring because we have winter. Would the days blur into each other even more where the climate doesn’t change?

Looking out the window at newly fallen snow is a sight to behold. It doesn’t take long for crisp white to turn to ugly gray and for me to get my fill of winter. I think I would miss it if I lived somewhere with endless summers? Maybe once we retire we’ll live without winter for a year and see what we think about it.

It could be we look on the bright side and enjoy winter to the degree we do because it’s our reality and we may as well enjoy it instead of curse it. After all isn’t life better when we learn to love what is?

There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. William Sharp

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The Winter Survival Handbook: 157 Winter Tips and Tricks Paperback – Oct 27 2015

Autumn is here. Reaping and sowing.

Autumn is Coming Photo of pond by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. Edwin Way Teale

Time to put on a sweater or jacket days are here again. Breathing in crisp cool air, and biting into crisp apples. The leaves are starting to change. Some parts of Canada have had snow already. It’s here.

It’s been a fabulous summer. Only a memory of a treasured time remains. A new time is here to treasure until it too is over. This is our life, we think it doesn’t change but it does. We should be treasuring these happy golden moments. A day holds so much hope and promise. Twenty four golden hours, ours to do with what we want, and what we must. What we must looks after our life and what we want feeds our spirit. A happy dance of the two gives us meaning and purpose.

I haven’t been down to my studio since the wedding except to look, sigh and promise I’ll be back to putter and paint. We never know when it’s the last time we’ll do something until looking back we realize that was the last dress we sewed. The last quilt we made, the last picture we painted, the last swim in the ocean.

It’s already years since I attended the soccer games my kids played. We often don’t know things are ending when they end. The last time you saw a friend you didn’t know it was the last. The last time I saw my dad, I didn’t know it was the last. We don’t know, we can’t know it is the  last phone call, the last touch.

Life is about endings and beginnings. If we are lucky, new people enter our lives as old ones leave. Knowing how to make friends is a skill, a gift that carries through life. Some people don’t know how to make friends, they are alone and lonely. People who know how to make friends may still be alone, but I don’t think they are so lonely. People can even be lonely in marriages. We need to reach out, make a connection to family, friends, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.

I don’t know how you learn to make friends. One of the things I’ve discovered is when you find like minded people, and I have found them in my toastmasters group, it’s easy to feel welcome and accepted.

At the gym I go to, no one talks. We grimly do our workout. If we take a class there is some interaction. Is it the group of people assembled there? Is it the solitary activity? Is it me?

We are social animals and soon we’ll be getting ready to bed down for the winter. In winter I feel it is even more important to have connections to other people. Poems and stories are written about cozy snow covered homes with smoke rising from the chimney.

There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves. Joe L. Wheeler

I grew up in a home with too few bedrooms for too many people. Now we mostly live in houses with too many bedrooms for too few people. Some people have show homes inside and out but I don’t think those are the happy cozy homes. The happy cozy homes are filled with bedlam, laughter, jostling for position and bathrooms.

We are all looking for belonging. Is belonging to a family, organization, club easy? That depends on the family, organization, or club. We play a part in that relationship, we can make it better or worse. We can be part of the fun and frivolity or we can be sour and judgmental. This choice is up to us.

I always feel autumn is the time of year for change. Probably because we spent so many years in school and autumn was the beginning of a new school year. Autumn still seems to me a time of new beginnings. After a summer of fun and sun I get back to painting. Back to the gym on a more regular basis. I look around wondering if there is something new I can or should bring into my life.

Life is great in all its seasons. Embrace the changes in your life. Reach out to people, rekindle old friendships and make new ones. Get creative. Become a volunteer. Host a dinner and enjoy fun and frivolity. What would you like to do you haven’t done yet? Could you start now? Autumn is here, winter is coming, there is much to do.

One of the great joys of life is living in a cozy home looking out the windows at snow covered trees and knowing you are happy and cozy with peace and plenty surrounded by loved ones.

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. L.M. Montgomery

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