We haven't had any measurable snow.
But the recent snowmaggedon in upstate New York has me thinking that Old Man Winter is on his way. And I want to be prepared.
As I see the leaves that need raking and the storm windows that need lowering, I can't help but think about nature's gradual reminder for us to slow down.
In nature, many animals use winter as a time of hibernation. The days grow short and the nights grow long. The cold, snow, and ice provide opportunities for hunkering down, and for slowing the pulse of our hectic lives, for just a bit.
Winter allows us time to slow down, to spiritually rejuvenate, to be wrapped around the warmth of family and friends, to quiet our souls, and to reflect.
Sadly, this transition to a slower pace may be lost in the "busyness" of the fall and winter holidays, of ski seasons, hockey games and basketball tournaments. There is shopping to do, cookies to bake, presents to wrap and parties to plan and attend.
We are busy. That is a fact.
Instead of cultivating a lifestyle of constant movement and pressure to perform on one level or another, can't we take our cue from nature's hibernators and slow down, take the time to breathe, look around, and do the things that bring us comfort and joy?
Life passes so quickly.
I want to savor every moment that I can; not squander it in the glorification of busy.
Winter is for cuddling and conversation with my husband, for comfort food, over-sized sweaters and tall boots; for favorite movies, for walks in the snow, thick socks, hot soup, and red wine. It's for baking, and books, and blankets, and whatever else makes you smile.
In waiting for the first flakes to fly, I promise myself to slow down, to breathe consciously, to act with intent, and to use winter's slow down to make quiet, loving memories that last long after the snow melts away. When spring calls us out of hibernation, I will be ready to greet the new season with a sense of rebirth and a rejuvenated soul.
Do you find time to slow down during the winter? How do you slow your pace and stay in the moment?