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Tucking In my Winter Homebody


            I am a winter homebody.

            I love a brisk walk in an Autumn wood.  Leaves spattered with jammy hues. Or meandering along a path, as spring awakens. Marveling at Mother Nature’s unending ideas for blooms and blossoms. A summer early morning or late day stroll along the beach, combing for shells. Eyes darting up to catch the bobbing fins of dolphins just past the breaks of the waves. I could list dozens of joyful moments I revel in through those seasons where the outdoors calls to me. Embraces me.

           Winter is another story. While I love the romantic idea of my boots crunching in fresh snow and a cup of fragrant tea or frothy hot chocolate waiting to be sipped while sitting next to my cheery little wood stove, my adoration of winter ends there.

            Layers of heavy clothing. Cold feet. The tip of my nose, hot pink through the icy freeze of the Northeast. Holidays that I tend to over -extend myself for, all leave me pining for warm, lazy sunbeams and chirping birds.

            I know from experience it is not a healthy choice to “wait out” a whole season. So, I have found it’s important to lift my spirits when the daylight is scarce and polar gusts are slipping through the cracks in our old house. Every November I head to my growing check list to remind myself that all is not grim -though the thermometer says otherwise.

            Lemons! Lemons in my fridge. Lemons on my counter. For cutting wedges into my water glass, dropping into a steaming cup of tea, grating into my recipes or rubbing into my elbows. The scent of summer in every slice, helps me combat my winter doldrums.

            Lavender. Under my pillow. In clay pots in my kitchen and bedroom is another throwback to hot days on a radiant hillside. Their green stems and heady scent keeping my feet firmly planted in a sunny garden.  Long soaks in an aromatic tub followed by a luxurious slathering of lotion, soothes my scratchy lungs and clears my head for a deep sleep.

            I am an avid collector of glorious vases. Filling them all winter with whatever the florist or supermarket has on hand. Amaryllis, anemone, roses, ranunculus, poinsettias (remember these are poisonous to pets), hellebores, camellias, carnations, sweet pea and don’t forget the berries. Like Hypericum or holly. A bloom of roses on my nightstand, a sprig of berries in a tiny bottle on my bathroom sink, make do when the sun is setting at 4pm. Clear colorful glass vases and jars are magical when they fill to the brim with winter rays, illuminating their jewel tones. I love catching them at just the right moment when they flash to life. I find candlelight is at its most magical when it’s flickering on a simply set table with the season’s gloom pressing itself to the trembling windowpanes.

            A movie list of “I always wanted to see…” or even see again, is kept handy. Books and magazines I have been hoarding get a dusting and stacked near my bed so I can reach over and indulge. Hunting through my stash of PJ’s, robes and comforters to air out for the months ahead makes me feel secure against the frigid days and nights.

            With all of this homebody-ing, I also make a promise to myself to at least try to bundle up and get out for a daily walk. Even if it’s around the block. Stretching in the blue gray morning light of January to eases me into my day, is always a good start.  

Dreaming of cool cotton dresses, bare feet and twinkling fireflies helps too.

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