What does winter mean to you? Is the prospect of snow a hope or a worry? Do you think of crisp, frosty days and hoar frost, or trudging through rain and mud? Do you look forward to cosy evenings or feel trapped indoors? Winter has a particular feel and, if we seek it, a particular spirituality. If you want to explore winter, try some of these things –
- Go for a walk on a frosty morning, notice the length of the shadows cast by the sun low in the sky, find a leaf enhanced by the crystals of frost on its edges. Appreciate this pared back beauty and give thanks.
- Practice hospitality. Vanquish the dark and chill of winter by gathering people together. Invite friends and neighbours to share a meal. Or find out what you can do to support ‘hospitality’ providers – shelters, foodbanks etc
- Let snow and frost, or puddles bring out your “inner child”. Splash in a puddle or stamp on the ice covering it. Have a friendly snowball fight.
- Grow bulbs indoors, or look out for snowdrops, as a reminder that spring is on the way. Think about hope. Share it with someone who needs it.
- Stand in the rain (under an umbrella or not) and listen to, or feel, the rain. For some this is a reminder of God’s sustaining love – the refreshment that we need to live.
- Embrace winter as a time of inner reflection, introspection, burrowing, and slower movement. Start a journal. Read more. Enjoy candlelight.
- Be patient. Take note of the slowly lengthening days, even if light levels seem to take one step forward and two steps back. Learn patient waiting for the inevitable gradual change.