Is winter-TIME wonderful for you?

“Now is the winter of our discontent” is a famous opening line from Shakespeare’s Richard The Third Act 1, scene 1, 1–4. Whether or not as many have noted, the future King Richard was expressing joy rather than discontent is irrelevant. The major point here being that for many winter is a source of discontent. In Minnesota, winter is dreaded due to the cold, snow and ice storms. We have an inordinate amount of accidents during the winter months that plague drivers and slow the commutes down. We have about five months of winter compared to three months of summer. We even have a phenomenon called “Snow Birds.’ These are people who fly south every winter to live in Florida, Arizona, Texas or some other warm place.

However, for some winter is a wonderland of snow and ice and white vistas. It is a time of renewal. A time when life retreats, days are short and you want nothing more than to sit in front of a warm fireplace with a good book until summer comes. Winter forces life to slow down. I have always loved winter; perhaps because I enjoy the outdoors so much. It is hard to describe the beauty of a snowstorm when you are out skiing in the woods and the entire landscape is like something out of a fairy tale. The snowflakes are gently falling and the pine trees are flocked with snow. You turn to see a great grey owl sitting on a branch perhaps watching you ski. Soon you notice a small group of deer simply walking by and ignoring you. A nearby trout stream with its deep blue water is winding its way through the snow covered pines and birch trees. The brilliant blue of the water sparkling against the snow and ice covered banks. The world is white on white with blue and brown contrasts. You notice the water gurgling and the sun beams dancing off the snowflakes. You are in the middle of a diamond like wonderland.

Winter is a time of change. It offers a respite from the hectic pace of summer. During winter, I slow my routines down and I feel like there is more time to do things for myself rather than taking care of the yard, going on vacations, spending time with the relatives, etc. Winter is a time for reconciliation. It is a time for quiet solitude and reflection. Winter is when we can be reborn.

What do you think of winter? Is it just a time you hope is over very quickly? Is it a time you look forward to? What could you do to make your winters more worthwhile and interesting? What activities would help make winter more exciting for you? Where could you go to renew yourself this winter? What hurts and fences might you find the time to mend? Can you make this winter a time of “Content.”

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