Choose a Happy Winter
We are beginning to get the first hints of winter, but before we start hibernating I’d like to take time to appreciate the autumn.
What a beautiful autumn it has been. The season never fails to delight and by directly and consciously focusing on its ever-changing features, we are able to enhance our experience and add richness to our lives.
Somehow, I feel closer to nature when I experience change and movement. The daily transformations of the colour of the leaves, the lengthening shadows and the change in temperature, such as that slight undercurrent of a chill heightens my sense. I feel more awake, more alive and I have a stronger sense of connection with nature.
There are many ways to increase savouring such as taking time to deliberately stop and look around you. Take a deep breath and absorb the slight chill in the air, take in the wide range of colours as the trees put on their last display for the year, witness their multitude shades of red, yellow, orange and brown. It is as if the tress are putting on a grand display, like a firework finale, keeping us outside for as long as possible before the chill of winter drives us indoors.
Walk Through the Seasons
The best way to experience seasonal changes in nature is to take a walk. If you live in the countryside the delights of nature are easily accessible. However, if you live in a city you can still savour the changing seasons in many ways. You can go to a public park, walk along a canal or walk the city streets and slow down so that you notice the plants in gardens that you usually rush past.
When walking you might find something that stops you in your tracks, such as catching the sunlight illuminating the short-lived red leaves at the perfect angle, which makes them stand out and seem larger than life. Or a cloud passing to reveal elongated and deep shadows. If you don’t notice it now, it will be gone, so fleeting is it presence. Again, this factor, this briefness, helps me to feel very connected to nature and I feel in awe of what I have seen.
Savouring the Winter
So what is next? The long, cold, dark months of winter. These can be hard to endure, particularly for vulnerable groups such as the elderly or those who suffer from seasonal adjustment depression. However, there are many wonders in the winter months to be savoured, such as cosy indoor time with friends and family, comforting slow cooked meals and the beauty of the frost on seed heads.
Your Focus, Your Choice
Make a decision. Take time to savour winter. Look for the beauty in it, plan joyful activities that you will do throughout the winter and invite people to share in the experience. We all know the benefits of volunteering if you feel able, volunteer to help a vulnerable group.
I’d love to hear what activities you do to savour the winter. Let me know as I’d like to try out some new ideas.
About the author: Bryony Shaw