This Christmas vacation has been magical! I’ve been making it a habit to get outside and walk, even when it’s very cold (this morning was -27C or -17F). You don’t stay outside long in that kind of cold if you can help it, but I really believe that I love and enjoy the winter more when I embrace the season instead of dreading it.
A few years ago I found myself struggling with depression at the beginning of winter. When I scrapbook my memories from the year, photos from November are always few. It was like my thoughts turned inward, dreading the cold weather, the icy roads and long dark days indoors, trying to keep my kids busy. It was a season in my life that wasn’t easy; my children were little and parenting toddlers and babies can be lonely; surrounded by humans but with no one to talk to.
Over the last few years my attitude regarding winter has changed. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen some of my photos from the last week, enjoying the beautiful frost, smiling beneath layers of clothing and just celebrating winter. I’ve learned to love winter by looking for the beauty in it, taking my camera with me when I go out. I’ve learned to love winter by taking up cross country skiing. And I have decided to stop bad-mouthing the season. I am striving to teach my kids not to complain about things they can’t change, and I want to model this behaviour as well. And as my friends on Facebook keep telling me, there are many who envy me the beauty of this northern winter. (Hi, Australians!)
It is just a lovely time of year. I can’t wait to paint some of these beautiful photos. I can’t promise you they’ll be anything nearly as spectacular as my photos – I can’t paint the world with frost like God can – but they are just another way I get to celebrate winter life here in Canada.