The Power of Rest in Winter

I have a writer friend, – who has expressed exactly what I have felt these past days when she wrote about the long winter we have endured.

She writes: “Every winter my good intentions and plans for things I will do seem to disintegrate at the beginning of December. I turn off my alarm in the morning and sleep longer. Goals I thought I could meet get revised. About the end of February, though, I begin to re-energize. I’ve blamed this pattern on holiday-related exhaustion or winter colds, but in the book Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, author Katherine May has opened my eyes to the fact that in winter, we are supposed to rest more. We are supposed to retreat. There need be no blame. There need be no apology.”

…”in winter we are supposed to rest more”… That stirs me. We have just emerged (as has much of the nation) from a spell of bitter cold. We are beginning to thaw, and I see it hasn’t been such a bad thing that I have accomplished so little these days. I am feeling reawakened. Like the cardinals who suddenly begin to sing at this time of year. They sing against the cold and the snow. I heard one yesterday. There is no evidence of spring, and yet they sing. They seem to know there is reason to hope for change.

Today Denis has an appointment to receive his first vaccination against COVID 19, and we are quietly waiting by the pharmacy of a local Hyvee. I almost garnered an appointment, but was too slow filling out the application. By the time I finished, I had been knocked off the site. Every slot was taken.  I was disappointed, but still I hope. Perhaps a spot somewhere will open up soon and I won’t be far behind.

In the meantime we continue doing what we’ve done for more than a year now. Be careful. Be patient. Mask. Wait. Nap when needed. Listen to the birds. Watch for spring. It’s coming soon.


Photo Credit: Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash