Winter. It is a season made for introverts. It took me a while to discover this. I love all the seasons and have no favorites, but over the years I have come to really appreciate the quiet of winter.

Local, organic seed catalog - planning time

Summer is so full and wonderful but also so loud, if you are an introvert. Or maybe just for me! It feels loud in that there is always so much to do and so much calling to us - garden work, long neglected homestead repairs, more garden work, preserving of garden food, barn mucking, haying, moving goat fences and then so many more other wonderful things to do outside - swimming, fishing, finding a free pool to swim in, meeting up with friends who have kids off from school for the summer, traveling if we are able, camping, etc etc.

But winter - ahhhh. It is a time to turn inside.  Into one's home and into one's self. To think. To write. To notice. To listen. To just be.

Yes, life continues happen in all of its fullness. We continue to be out in the world as needed (library, demonstrations, rallies, our food co-op, volunteering, visiting friends and family, taking a class here or there, etc). And inside we are staying in touch with events of the day (and calling senators more frequently as the case may be now, or learning new ways to be a voice of active resistance to unjust and immoral decisions.)

In the midst of that, we are doing a whole lot of practicing being present to this moment. The little things that really are so big. So very big. Working out conflicts with each other respectfully; paying attention to the needs and desires of each other and finding ways for all sides to be heard; feeling the frustration rise up in me of yet another demand made by a small child and having the time to stop and feel the frustration come and go and then notice that small being in front of me and listening to him/her in love; taking time to focus on connections instead of corrections; having the space to see the big picture and not 'sweat the small stuff'; practicing and nurturing patience (and more patience and more patience!); being in awe of nature and all that is around us; finding and expressing gratitude in each and every day.

Yes there is cold and ice and yes folks from warmer places want to boast about how they don't have to deal with that anymore. But for now, while I am able, I choose to embrace winter. It is our permission to pause. To know that the bright green new life of spring awaits us but now we give attention to that which lies dormant. To know that the abundance of summer and fall awaits us and even though now we have less of a variety of food available we can find ways to be more creative with what we have (though my kids may groan at my attempts to make yet another pot of winter squash soup seem tantalizing!).

It comes naturally to me, to seek quiet. But I am coming to understand, especially in such times of strong division, that learning to listen, both to the other, and to the voice in our own hearts, is what can bring about true transformation, and lasting change. Spiritually, socially, and even politically. So by going inward in our winter hibernation, we slow down our bodies. Yet our minds must also find a space and time to slow down. To power down. To be quiet enough to hear whatever it is our hearts need to hear.

I leave you with an excerpt from a poet whose work I have grown to love and draw deep inspiration from over the years.

All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.
And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous
Silence and winter
has led me to that
So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.
David Whyte


  1. Love these pensive thoughts, Meg.

  2. Love it. A thousand times yes. And I am definitely reminded for us in the heat of all the political madness how important our relationships with each other are at home. Right now working hard on PATIENCE, responsibility and kindness. And though they may not get it always - even for what seems like an eon - the seeds are being planted and it comes back down the road when they are with others. Also love the poem and seeing everyone in the pics.

  3. Beautiful, Meg. Thanks for share, greetings from Mexico.


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