I have always struggled with darkness. I love winter - the fluffy snow, the excitement of big snowstorms, the silence of the world in the snow, the tracks on the snow of all of the wild visitors, the smell of crisp clean air, the break from the same thing day after day. I love sitting by the fire with calm music, a cup of steaming tea, and a book. Living in the country I love winter even more. The hard work and heat of the summer gone, forcing us inside for more domestic pursuits such as baking and homekeeping. Winter is the time for art and writing and books. The time for baking and stitching and sitting down. But that said, I also struggle with darkness. If it snowed every 2 or 3 days all winter followed by the post-snow sunshine and blue skies, I would be OK. But we do tend to get months of cloudy days. Combining gray and darkness is hard for me. So, I look at snow as my relief, the bright spots between the repeated gray cord on the string of lights.
This year we got a light therapy light. We have all been sitting in front of the light a half hour a day at least. And of course we are all still trying to get outside, take walks, enjoy the quiet, and do a lot of baking. But since it does not get light until pretty late and is still dark before 5pm, the light is helping us continue. We have had so much gray and so many fog warnings this January so far, that the light is a relief. So is garden planning, seed sorting, art making, bread baking, and spending time with my teens.
So I will still enjoy the snow, the quiet, the fluffy snowflakes swirling, the crisp cold air, the crunch of snow under my mukluks, and the sunshine when it comes, I also feel like I have another tool in my toolbox to help get through the long winter.
What do you do to get through the darkest days of the year?
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I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, certified permaculture designer (PDC), organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.