Winter is for Imagination
It’s minus 31° C, with a windchill of minus 43°. A four-inch layer of rutted ice coats the streets and paths of Saskatoon. Snow crunches and squeals underfoot. We’ve come through a long spell of being in “the deep freeze.” Still, many months of winter lie ahead.
The past season of advent, which teaches that meaning is in the waiting, seems to have taught me nothing about patience. After the anticipation and build up to Christmas, and the inevitable excitement of the holidays, we enter the period of the year I find most challenging.
It seems a long time until spring.
It’s hard to imagine green growth, gentle winds, and going about in shirt sleeves. The effort required to bundle up, the routine of wearing layers of bulky clothing, means we're robbed of easy movement and the freedom of being outdoors. On the other hand, we've been excused from a multitude of chores. The urge to be on the move is curtailed, and we've checked unnecessary busy-ness. Instinctively, we’ve slowed down.
Winter is the season of the imagination. It is time to put our feet up. Considering the past season and the future year gives me pause to count my blessings: the luxury of rest, the companionship of my dog (asleep on an old sleeping bag), the comfort of the wood-stove, the fragrance of hot soup. Friendly unhurried conversation.
Winter, I am reminded, is a time to dream, to imagine the possibilities. It is the time to picture the garden at its most splendid—without the necessity of hard labour, and the need to execute a plan.
A few winters ago, I spent New Year’s Day with a wise friend, discussing gardening--surely a sign of winter optimism. Read the article.
Judith Wright is a Canadian writer interested in ordinary wisdom, that is, insight gained through everyday experience, shared with the wider world.