The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

Day 24: Wintering

Jan 19, 2023 | 30 Days of Joy | 4 comments

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


  1. Wiley McCarthy

    Coming to value the idea of retreat as a meaningful experience and not just my total introvert self hiding out. Winter is so good for that—snowstorms, yard work an unavailable option, events cancelled. Good for the soul.

    • Cathy

      I love that “events cancelled” made this list. Hibernation is so lovely. HUGS, my soul sister!

  2. Jeannie Clifton

    I have always loved the season of winter and “wintering” for all of these same reasons. Thoughtful observations and beautiful written! Thank you?

    • Cathy

      Thank you, Jeannie. I hope you get plenty of “wintering” time this winter. 🙂

Cathy Rigg Headshot

Hi. I’m Cathy.

This is a blog about writing, creative living, and grace in the everyday. It’s my hope this little spot on the internet will be for you a place of quiet and reflection, a source for inspiration, and a reminder there’s beauty all around—we simply need to keep our hearts open to see it. Thank you for being here with me.

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