A Love Note to Winter

It took me years to fully appreciate winter.  And, I highly doubt I’m aware of the full glory of this season even now.

For most of my life, winter has been a season to endure.  Typically, it’s the season that eclipsed fall all too early and bullied spring into just a footnote, a day or three between winter and summer.  I blamed winter for spring’s false promises and false starts.  You may think I’m being too harsh on this season.

But, I lived in Colorado for almost a decade, and winter can be LLLLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGG.

Truth be told, long before I lived in Colorado, I still dreaded winter.  I’m a seeker of warmth and light and green, and growing up, winter was the antithesis of each of those things.

What I finally realized though is that green is far more beautiful and far easier to appreciate when it tiptoes in on the heels of winter.

Warmth can be found even in the frigid chill of winter air.

And, light, well, I think that’s why God made snow – to reflect the short light of winter days so intensely that we still need shades.

I think I’ve also come to understand the need for this season.  I know for me, internally, I feel a particular way during the winter months – a feeling unique to other times of the year.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Winter:  A season to reflect

I don’t know about you, but for me, I start looking inward during the winter months.  I know spring is associated with “spring cleaning”, but I really think winter is the season for cleaning.  

Without fail, in December/January every year, I start going through my closets pulling out things I don’t wear anymore and stuff I’d stowed away and forgotten about.  That physical act is an extension of what’s going on in my mind.  I find myself traveling to the recesses of my mind in the winter time pulling out memories long forgotten and internalizing lessons I thought I knew already as I reflect back on who I was and who I am now.

The season itself allows life to do the same.  Growth is stilled (at least on the surface), snow blankets the world protecting the things unseen – the roots, life itself, hidden beneath that protective cover.

Winter:  A season to restore

In Colorado (and California), every year, the amount of snow received is so important.  Heavy snows replenish the water levels in streams and rivers and reservoirs.  Snow protects the plants hidden underneath from the bitter cold.  Snow melt in turn provides water to roots well into the summer and feeds into streams and rivers.

This yearly restoration of water levels is reflected in my own life.

In winter, I crave stories that speak to my soul.  It’s the time of year when I re-read my favorite books… even when I’ve read them twice or a dozen times already… I long for familiar over new, to give my brain a rest from guesswork. 

I know what happens already, but the nuances, the sheer eloquence of speech, yep, winter is a season for my soul to move, to be nourished, to drink deeply and be restored. 

Heaven knows I neglect it so often the rest of the year.

Winter:  A season for self-realization

It was really only after I moved somewhere that doesn’t have a true winter that I realized just how much we are creatures of rhythm... and just how much I’d come to love winter. 

Seasons are a reflection of the rhythm in our own lives, and this process of reflecting and restoring is SO important. 

I find I go through this reflect and restore cycle during the winter months regardless of where I live. 

And, recognizing this cyclical nature within myself makes me hungry to explore more of the subtleties in every day life and wonder just how much more of my own life is reflected in natural cycles, whether that’s the earth’s daily rotation, the moon’s orbit, or the earth’s revolution around the sun.

And, yes, for me, it took winter to teach me that lesson.

About the Author

Brandy Searcy of Return to Eden Cosmetics

Brandy Searcy is an outdoor girl who loves hiking, gardening, bird-watching, and body boarding.  Her innate curiosity means she's constantly researching something, and she's likely sharing what she's learned here on the blog. 

Nearly obsessive about her skincare, she started developing products to pack with her on day hikes and soon realized her backpacking friends were searching for a portable skincare routine as well, and that's how Rain Organica started.

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