Winter from my perspective

It’s the middle of February and we clearly have at least two months before we see anything close to swimsuit weather. It’s so cold. Right now we’re in one of one of the many snowstorms we’ve had this year. It’s so beautiful and dangerous. Because of this weather we’ve been home much more than what is usual this season. Amidst the almost normal chaos and boredom that hits right before dinner, it’s been a blessing in many ways. I feel like I’m actually watching winter this year, waking up before the sun and sitting with a cup of coffee in the quiet. Or during “nap time” when my kids are mostly quiet, I sit at my computer working in front of a huge window where I can safely and warmly watch the snow blow circles over our sleeping flowers and then collect in beautiful patterns on the pine trees.

Instead of constantly having to drive and test the roads for ice and slush in a flurry of constant activity, I have cleared time to sit and watch. It makes me want to read poetry and paint in the quiet. It gives me an appetite to learn.

My house is the most organized and consistently clean it’s been since before my children were born. NOT perfect by any means, but comfortably. There is actually a bigger reason for this, it is not just the winter. Since we lost our daughter in November my heart has been longing for a fresh space to breathe and live. It is almost as if my sanity depends on it. If I live in clutter for too many days I start to feel depressed and stop doing the things that I know are good for me, like eating regular meals, drinking enough water and working out. What started as cleaning to survive is now becoming a habit that continually blesses me. It makes hosting so much simpler, I’m more available to help, to serve better when I don’t have to clean the entire house and put everything away the day company is coming.

Another good thing this winter has given me is more intentional time with my kids. My son is five and my daughter is almost three. Every year goes by faster than the last. This season I don’t feel as rushed or stressed and I have more time to play. Even though I’m still the worst at pretending. That’s part of what makes my husband so great, he can jump in anywhere and make something up. Find your lane, structured play, like puzzles or coloring I rock!

It doesn’t always work out so wonderfully, but the days I do play are more than the days I don’t, so I’m taking the win.

Winter brings a fresh perspective. A time to be quiet and look inward. Even though summer feels like the better season, the bare trees and snowy hills allow you to see farther and clearer than you would on any summer day. It may hurt your face to go outside and it’s really hard to grow anything, the clarity and depth are worth it to me. I can see the beautiful bay in a lot more places around Traverse City now than I could when everything is growing and full. What feels like bareness and pain can actually be depth and peace.

Samantha Hendrickson