Number 37


“In our relentlessly busy contemporary world, we are forever trying to defer the onset of winter. We don’t ever dare to feel its full bite, and we don’t dare to show the way that it ravages us. An occasional sharp wintering would do us good. We must stop believing that these times in our lives are somehow silly, a failure of nerve, a lack of willpower. We must stop trying to ignore them or dispose of them. They are real, and they are asking something of us. We must learn to invite the winter in."

SO WRITES Katherine May in her remarkable book, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. The volume is a slow, gorgeous treatise on coming to terms with a season—literal and metaphorical—that demands from us a different state of being. Quietude. A hunkering. Introspection. This retreating is not inactive, she maintains, in fact quite the opposite is true. Wintering is intentional resting, a clearing and storing. A readying for rebirth and new blooms. It is the natural rhythm of things, think plants and animals who do it innately, of course we know. For humans, too, it is cycle to be recognized, accepted and honored. Whether brought on by the change on the calendar (hello February) or by our own "fallow times," May's look at wintering is a gift for any of us unaccepting of our own sadnesses, and for all of us in this ravaging, unending pandemic.
After several busy weeks at home in South Carolina's flatlands, Tim and I are currently spending a few days at our place high in the western North Carolina mountains. We came with the specific intention of experiencing a little snow, and that's just what's in the forecast. Weather is always unpredictable up here, so ONE NEVER KNOWS, but we are hopeful the weekend will be filled with a cozy dose of big flakes, good books, warm fires, hot soup (recipe below), and big-game football. And for me, knitting. My first foray into the wonderful world of sock-knitting has been maddening but I'm still here. One is done! And the rip-out rate on #2 has decreased by about half.
Praises for that.

Until next time ~
I've been on a bit of an Ann Patchett binge of late, I so admire her as a writer. And also in interviews and on podcasts I find her to be refreshingly smart and unabashedly honest. I was delighted when two people I adore both sent me the link to this Ann Patchett essay, each noting they thought I would enjoy it. Heavens, do I agree. These Precious Days, in Harper's. Get a cup of tea and a blanket and settle in.

(I've written of this before, but I also loved her latest novel, The Dutch House.)
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I made us a 2021 Spotify playlist! It's a good one, if I do say so myself, and if you want to listen may I suggest the random play option.
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image: Chelsea's Messy Apron
Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili (vegetarian) by Chelsea's Messy Apron. I'll be making this again today. So good, and those Bush's Pintos in Mild Chili Sauce are key. Yum.
The Dig is everything I love in a film, and bonus there is Carey Mulligan. So, so good. Netflix.
As per the above. Wintering, by Katherine May. I listened to this book on audio, which is beautifully rendered, then I ordered a hardback copy because I just couldn't not.
February 2018

Valentine Gifts, Broken Hearts, and Being a Love Distributor

These words from writer and influencer Jen Hatmaker are as powerful to me today as they were when I first read them two years ago. I hope they help us plan for and reframe V- Day in a way that makes more love.
Stella helps me write.
Stella helps me read.

Wear a mask. Extend grace. Love your neighbors well.

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