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Transactions with Beauty.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and relax. 
Thanks for being here.
And remember, 
you are required to make something beautiful.

- Shawna

 

 

I Insist that Winter is Beautiful

I Insist that Winter is Beautiful

It's winter again in Edmonton. (I define winter as any time after the first snow falls). This is normal for here. I was thinking about what I wanted to say about the season this time around, and I feel like I've said it all. I've presented my defence for winter. I've insisted that winter is beautiful. I've submitted my evidence. 

Still, maybe you're not convinced? Let me try again. 

winter backyard

Winter is good for my writer soul. I like getting up early and writing in the darkness, that cold cocoon. Winter holds beauty for writers. But it's a good time for deep thinking in general. The blank slate of winter is a good time to reacquaint oneself with one's inner poet, with one's imagination. 

winter sunflower

Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.

– Mignon McLaughlin

When I look at sunflowers, I think of the human condition, as well. I think of persistence, determination, I think of rising, up. Even in their winter they're sturdy and beautiful, not without grace.

-
Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.
— Pietro Aretino

Let us love winter, indeed. It is some kind of a leap of faith to enter this season, wondering if we'll ever come out of it, or how.

Winter changes a person, maybe every season does, but winter in particular sends us to the deep within of our souls. We might find ourselves pondering things we wouldn't in summer. We allow ourselves more hours of melancholy, too, which must provoke thoughts unlike those of a light-filled summer, a colourful autumn.

winter sunflower

And maybe in the harshness of the weather we become more fragile, but also kinder to ourselves, more sensitive to the human condition. Kinder to one another. 

snow covered yard
Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it. 
— Goethe
Snow on lawn chairs

Maybe now, blossoms are beside the point. Maybe now, it's a matter of using what's been saved, using what's been stored up, gathered, even when you didn't know you were gathering.

Maybe it's time to notice the littlest birds, and see what they survive on.

snowy yard
And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.
— Rumi
buddhas in the snow

We are a little like the garden in winter – seemingly quiet, and yet so much going on inside, in the depths, at our very roots. Riotous. What a beautiful word for the joyful and at times tormented interior thoughts that collect when it's severely cold and has previously snowed for an entire week straight. Is it this way for you as well?

In winter, it seems I crave solitude more than ever, silence more than ever. And there it is. Snow brings with it a hush, a riotous hush. I believe that winter solitude has a profound quality to it, like something nearer the beauty of the end of the world. 

Last year we asked winter who we really were, and this year, why not fall back into the snow and gaze at the expanse of the sky? 

snow roses
To Have a Firm Persuasion in Our Work

To Have a Firm Persuasion in Our Work

A Week of Prompts – From The Pillow Book

A Week of Prompts – From The Pillow Book