It’s a soft winter’s night.

The moon is nearing full and shines warmly through the cloudless sky. I sit on the porch reflecting on the goodness of life surrounded by the sounds of the city offset by my chimes swaying softly overhead. People are walking, the breeze is blowing and the city seems calm.

It’s a good night.

Winter is often a time of reflection. The shorter days (of sunlight hours) and the comparative cold lead us to bundle up, pull ourselves inward and think about warm woolen sweaters and hot chocolate. We run to our cars throwing our heaters on full or wear an extra layer as we catch the tube or the bus. We withdraw hoping to escape the touch of cold reminding us how fragile we really are.

Yet winter provides rewards as every season does. 89198fd89e2cd166e41192c4f4d16432

Winter provides crispness and clarity. Over the weekend I heard a baroque orchestra, La Follia Austin, as they played a clever and inventive program created by Stephen Redfield. It was transcendent. The last piece, fittingly, was Winter by Vivaldi. Who hasn’t heard that? And yet, following the strings of Spring, when played en suite, Winter somehow doesn’t quite get its due. Played by itself without the other movements however Winter found a new place in my heart and soul. A new perspective. A new appreciation.

We know growth is around the corner, with buds firming on the trees and fields returning to green following the fallow period. We know there is hope, yet there is hope too in this very period – this day – right here and now. Winter brings us quiet and sound at the same time as the snows muffle discordant noise while the bare trees let audio signals pass through.

Winter brings us rosy cheeks as we walk the dog and trundle to the corner for a loaf of bread or bottle of wine. Winter brings us both solitude and joy as we walk alone then hail fellow walkers heartily raising mittened-hands smiling in the visible slit between cap and scarf. Winter brings us alive with its sharpness and its very bite makes us appreciate the aliveness.

Renewed with both a sense of our presence outlined cleanly by winter’s cold edge and the joy that comes from being more active to stave off the chill there is a clarity and composition winter brings that the other seasons cannot. This sense of self – seemingly small in the midst of swirling wind and snowflake – helps us regain our perspective and humility and appreciate and give thanks for the time and place.

Winter refreshes me.

Take it the beauty of the season and allows its cleansing to refresh you too.

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