I used to hate the winter.
The cold (and the subsequent heavy clothes). The darkness. The snow. The ice. The silence. And how difficult it can be to get around.
I used to hate winter.
Until I read The Outermost House by Henry Beston.
For now I will just elude to it because I am reading it for a second time and taking copious notes, some of which I promise to share in future posts.
I simply want to share that Beston’s observations about the arctic bird migrations observed on the outer shores of Cape Cod in the middle of cold and dark January were enough to inspire me to give winter another chance.
Life does go on, even in the cold and darkness.
Silence does not necessarily mean an absence of life.
Those of you who read this blog regularly know of my lunchtime walks. I work in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a town with the vision to set aside beautiful walking trails in the heart of the town center. I have been walking regularly since the spring and still find new places to go.
My favorite trail is the Brook Path. The town cleared the path of snow and I was able to enjoy a gorgeous and crisp winter’s day walking past the brook. And I realized it’s just as beautiful in its own way in the cold of winter as it is in the warmth of summer.
The sun, of course, is in a much lower position during the winter and with the absence of leaves on the trees, dances on the water in a most delightful way.
There is a greater force in the flow of the water because of the melting snow. At times it nearly rushes despite the small size of the brook.
There are wonderful sensations in the winter. That crunching sound under your feet as you walk. The glistening snow. And the sweet silence.
Walking introduced me to all these things and Henry Beston’s book gave me the impetus to give winter a try. The cold no longer bothers me; movement takes care of that.
I am so grateful that I can find beauty in winter. It’s very different from the carefree summer breezes, fluttering leaves and the air filled with singing birds. It’s quiet and stark, the lines somehow clearer.
Winter is a beautiful thing.
This quote from Henry David Thoreau says it all:
“It has been a glorious winter day, its elements so simple,—the sharp clear air, the white snow everywhere covering the earth, and the polished ice. Cold as it is, the sun seems warmer on my back even than in summer, as if its rays met with less obstruction. And then the air is so beautifully still; there is not an insect in the air, and hardly a leaf to rustle.” Henry David Thoreau
And when I finish The Outermost House, I will share some of the most beautiful and poetic writing about the natural world that I have ever encountered.
Stay tuned …
Click to Tweet & Share: Opening my eyes to winter, thanks to The Outermost House by Henry Beston http://wp.me/p2D9hg-oC
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4 thoughts on “Opening my eyes to winter”
I’ve taken to going on walks, yes, even in the wintertime. It is certainly harder to desire to get out when you know it’s cold. But I think it helps me; I even sleep better at night. Walking is always the perfect time for reflection and collecting one’s thoughts too. I love that Thoreau quote you shared.
My husband needs to walk and got a Fit-Bit for Christmas. You reminded me that we need to go out to walk — it’s going to be warm this weekend. Thanks for the reminder!
I wrote a lot of blog posts about walking as I used to do it a lot before my back held me back. I miss that time of reflection. I’ll have to get back into it.
On a totally different thread — are you able to come to Orchard House for the Summer Conversational Series in July? It will, of course, focus on Little Women. Oh, and have you joined the new FB group about Louisa?
Goodness, I would love to visit Orchard House at some point. I’ll keep it in mind for the summer. 🙂
I haven’t seen this new FB group you’re talking about. If you have a moment, send me an invite so I can join.
Have a blessed weekend!
I added you as a member to the Louisa group — it should show up on your FB notifications. The administrator just has to approve your membership which should be soon.