I FIND SOMETHING so lovely in the use of “winter” as a verb. To me, “wintering” conjures a quiet, cozy, and fully necessary season in which we rest, rejuvenate, recharge. It also stands in stark contrast to the noun “winter,” which feels harsh and barren and endless.
This perception is due in large part, I’m sure, to my reading of Katherine May’s beautiful and deeply personal narrative Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. As noted in the book jacket copy, “May’s story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.” It’s been a couple of years since I picked up the book and what has stuck with me since is the realization that all things in nature “winter,” and that the gentle, dormant state is actually preparation for brilliant rebirth in Spring.
Why should we humans be different? What reason would we have to resist?
And so I intend to settle in for these oh-so-civilized winter weeks—to soak in the quiet; to rest in the cloak of the early dark. To notice the hum of the heat as it moves through the house, and the gray of the light, and the exuberance of the little nuthatch as she lifts from the winter feeder, a single, miraculous, seed in her beak.
Wintering. It’s such a beautiful concept. And so I say yes.
30 Days of Joy