February can be one of the toughest months to get through, don’t you think so too?! Although sings of spring are already slightly visible here and there, it will still take some time before spring arrives. In the meantime I’m trying to enjoy the rest of winter and try to embrace gratitude and contentment during these winter days.
I’ve been pruning in the garden last week. One can now clearly see the naked shape of the bushes and trees and decide where to cut. Winter is the season for cutting things, not for adding things. It’s so obviously in nature and I wish I could apply it so naturally in my own life too! It’s the best season to look closely at all the tangled branches of our own life too. And ask ourselves honestly if these are bearing fruit or just sapping energy. It might be the time to say no to useless activities or responsibilities.
My husband and I decided at the beginning of the year to examine all our “have-to’s”. We so often oblige ourselves with many things that might not be necessary or important on that particular moment. It means I decide to have a tea break with my husband instead of finishing the last part of a sculpture in my studio. It means I listen to the stories of our girls instead of doing the dishes. It means I go for a walk instead of cleaning the house. Because all these things are more valuable and life-giving.
You might have read one of my previous blogposts. I wrote about rest, rhythm and regularity. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to carry it out more in our lives. It is so easy to get distracted by everything on my to-do lists (and I love making these kind of lists!!!). When I overwhelm myself with too much opportunities and commitments, I’m left feeling stretched thin and over-burdened by my schedules. I know that I need rest. I also know I cannot continue to do everything for all the people in my life all the time.
It’s a learning process to say no, to admit we have our limitations. To admit taking rest is normal and necessary. And it’s also something that needs to happen regularly. Our bodies were made to rest daily (by sleeping) to keep our physical, mental and emotional capacities functioning properly. I believe we also need a weekly day of rest, a real Sunday, a day for weekly renewal. A day on which we make time to do something that will help to refuel you, to set us still, to do something you will enjoy. It’s so important to give that gift to yourself to be able to handle the week to come.
Being outside and walking is one of the things that sets me still. The outdoors are so rich with treasures in every season – a continual reminder that beauty and life can always be found when we slow ourselves to seek it out. I often take something with me home, like this bird’s nest I found some weeks ago. During the following days it reminds me of the beauty of the everyday. And reflecting on that is taking a moment of rest.
Curling up with a good book, burning candles and a hot cup of flower tea is the perfect thing to settle me down for a more restful night’s sleep. It’s something I heartily treasure in winter!
I know that each season serves its purpose, and I want to indulge in the quiet rest of winter. And waiting for life to bloom again…
“The speed at which we do something- anything- changes our experience of it.” John Freeman