Though winter takes a substantial chunk out of my already serious minded self, causing a mild depression to color my world more darkly, there is still fun and magic to be had. One only has to make it.
A walk by moonlight, then a fire, all while darkness slowly turns to dawn. The warmth of the fire soothing, sparks flying as an air current oxygenates it brightly.
Then a call from our son after he drops off his eldest at Middle School, a daily pleasure looked forward to with the phone by my side, making sure I’m back inside to catch it by 7AM.
The other son usually video chats at the same time, bringing us both to the island at their house in a neighboring state while the grand-kids, one 6, one 2, and one 1, all eat breakfast. The eldest granddaughter usually is in charge of us through the tablet.
Sitting on the frond porch late in the day with a sleeveless dress warm in the sun. Is it spring? A gaggle of geese fly by squawking loudly in unison.
Peacefulness fills me up. This luscious break is ever so precious amid the winter depression that dampens my spirit.
But this year a discovery to uplift me, venturing outside in the pre-dawn. That pleasure is usually missed in winter due to dark days which now have turned the corner and each day is longer and brighter- out in the meadow before the birds wake, walking as I do in summertime but without the sun.
Our joys often need founding by ourselves. What brings joy? Scrapbooking is another way to fill my heart with warmth, gathering both sons photos filling books for the grandkids with captions as some are just learning to read.
Bright colored cardstock with fancily trimmed pictures done so easily with scissors that cut them that way, glued onto paper embellished with stickers and other eye-captivating, meaningful additions.
The kids cherish my gifts, one grand-son only 2 having a shelf special for Nana’s books. This pleasures my heart as much as his, and gives the kid in me childish things to do with a grown-up twist satisfying both parts of me.
In winter especially, it is a time to seek out the things I love to do and do them. Quiet past-times, uneventful for some, fill me up contentedly.
After the first ten minutes of removing my glove to take photos, that had to stop because my fingers were freezing in such frigid temps.
“Did you know the animals talk to me?” I asked my grand-daughter one day.
She smiled in response while I added, “They do. The birds hop along tree to tree all the way down to the creek. And the bunnies stop, sitting still, letting me close, wondering why is this fairy nymph up so early.”
The magic of the meadow is curative, mystical, and wonderous.
Tomorrow is my turn to host our monthly gathering and the planning is complete. Sometimes we do a craft, and this time before our card-playing we will make peppermint candy wreaths. Glue guns at the ready!
This group of friends was created over 15 years ago while still in Chorale. With effort I kept asking others in chorale if they’d like to join a group. These ladies said yes and have become close friends ever since then.
My family chosen by me. The tea party is ready. Getting ready for events of friends or family gathering here is enjoyed as much, or more than the actual event.
Preparing beforehand lessons my anxiety beast, always at the ready to take my joy away. But with pre-thoughtful planning it becomes a joy that stays.
A leaf peeping trip through the deep hills nearby to see color before they ‘fall.’ Then our favorite stop at a stony beach by a sparkling lake. After finding driftwood and smooth stones for the ladybug project, we follow the lake home for more eye popping color.
My five year old grand-daughter saw something similar at the town fair while here a month ago and just had to snitch the idea for her as a gift.
Though the wafts of color throughout summer in the meadow have come and gone, leaving behind mostly browns of every hue, there is still stately magic to be had. Donning protective gardening gloves, the proud thistles were conquered without injury, their regal stance attractive despite the dull hue.
My mind saw something else, a vase sparkling as if snow had been hurled on them. After drying it was time to spray them white, but the seeds left behind plus the difficulty handling them due to vast amount of prickles made me throw them onto the rocks edging the garden in disgust.
Samuel was more hopeful and with encouragement said, “Maybe the paint will hold in the rest of the seeds.”
But his words drifted in the air left behind me on my way down the meadow looking for a replacement plant to adorn for a holiday craft project… milkweed pods! Peering out the window later, there was Samuel, spraying those darn spiky thistly thorns before tackling the milkweeds making me smile.
I had about given up on them, but after dipping their heads in glue then pouring on glitter, they shimmered just like my mind’s eye saw them, and no seeds falling off to make a mess.
A lover of Christmas there is plenty of Christmas crap in the basement to pick from. No way is there a need to buy more. But if Mother Nature cares to offer free supplies without added expense, then why not?
Good days in summer just happen. How could they not with sun time on the patio and the meadow invitingly calling with its greens, golds, and all colors of summer?
In the darker months it takes effort to reveal what’s important and fun to make a task of. Delighting grandchildren is one of them.
With the endless rain it was time to dust off the elliptical feeling my heartrate accelerate healthfully. Then onto crafting for Halloween, another package to send through the mail for grandchildren in the neighboring state.
That fills my heart and keeps hands, head, and spirit happily busy.
Recovering from a simple virus compounded with headache and slight fever, it took my happy away. Camera in hand, down to the meadow I go discovering joy again.
The peace of earth sustains me, flocks of birds getting ready to fly south, startled at my approach, waving grass greening after the rains, a bunny hopping away, and quiet, peaceful quiet settling my mind of its morbid thoughts.