A winter idyll


is a slow season

is for turning inward

is for being still, for reflecting and resting.

Winter …

is for looking forward to the first snowdrops

is for wearing comfortable warm woollen cardigans

is for noticing the small daily gifts.

But how can we try to “keeping winter”? I have to admit I love this eighteenth-century English expression of “keeping” a season. It refers to the traditional ways people in the country restored their bodies and nurtured their souls by honouring, in their daily rounds, the rhythm of the natural world. It’s an invitation to live in a seasonal way.

And I can only say ‘yes’ to this invitation! Will you join me?

I try to adopt a quieter rhythm that allows me to fully embrace winter, rather than wishing winter away as I sometimes do. For me, winter is the most difficult season as I so much miss the sun, the light, the flowers in the garden and being able to live outside.

In winter I find myself enjoying the smaller and ordinary things… to find beauty in these small gifts of the everyday.

A small still life in my studio with the promise of spring. The catkins of the hazel are already blooming. I brought in a branch of forsythia 2 weeks ago and put it in a vase, waited and watched… because magic was about to occur. Suddenly the first yellow star flower bloomed. Whenever I walk into my studio, these branches are greeting me with the open arms of the outdoors.

The first snowdrops are blooming too! They proudly announce early spring. Like no other flower this fragile snowdrop assures us that winter finally has lost its grip. Even though we’ll have to wait some more weeks before it’s really spring, these flowers hold a hopeful promise. Have you already noticed some blooming snowdrops in the woods?

I’m revelling in watching hyacinth bulbs grow. I put them in forcing vases and enjoy their growth day by day. I don’t think I could survive winter without hyacinth bulbs! What a delightful scent they spread in my studio and our home!

I love the warmth and comfort of woolen cardigans, knitted mittens and warm gloves. It gives such a warm and cosy feeling to be wrapped in wool.

My winter idyll isn’t complete without feeling the joy about the first shoots of spring green in the garden!

It might seem as if I’m too eagerly waiting for spring but we have had an unusual warm winter with no snow or real cold frost until now. The garden and nature really needs a real winter with its coldness but is awakening already. Unfortunately it’s the consequence of the global warming. I can only hope the tiny green shoots will not be damaged if King winter still decides to bring us a visit.

May you be as strong and fragile as the snowdrops to enjoy winter in a slow and natural way and create your own winter idyll! And please, may we not rush this season by.

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