Seasonal Celebrations-Winter’s Silence 2013

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“Other seasons come abruptly but ask so little when they do.  Winter is the only one that has to be relearned.”
Verlyn Klinkenborg, The Rural Life

 

 

Mother Nature never ceases to provide timely inspiration.  This past weekend we finally had our first “sticking snow”.  And as it blew in, the ground and air were quickly swallowed up in white-a wall of white that immersed us in a what we call “lake effect snow”.  That snow that blows off the east end of Lake Ontario taking no prisoners as it descends and drowns out all color and sound around us.DSCN2665

Thankfully it blew through quickly leaving the garden sporting a new clean, white covering.  And it has snowed on and off all week adding more lovely scenes…about 6 inches already.  But that first snow also heralds a time for change…. change in seasons with the solstice, special holidays to celebrate and a time to slow and slumber.

For me it is a time to cocoon myself away and contemplate life.  Every winter I hunker down in front of the fireplace and dream of spring as I soak in winter’s glory.  Oh don’t get me wrong…our winters can last too long here, and I do not like driving in the nasty snow an hour to and from work.  But winter does have some wonderful benefits for me, and emphasizing these benefits helps me cope with our long, harsh winters until spring.

 

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Winter is like taking a retreat…getting quiet so I can rest, heal and renew myself physically and spiritually.  Winter is the perfect time for quiet here as the garden is sleeping, the birds are taking a break and the pollinators are hibernating with the frogs and toads.  I think I love winter’s silence the best.  The solitude  seems to awaken my heart and soul.  I find I have so much inspiration and calm during winter.

I try to spend time outside listening to nature as it speaks to me…and that fresh clean air of winter is amazing for clearing the cobwebs out of my mind.  Like the plants beneath my garden, I use the time in winter to put energy back into my body and soul…put it back to my roots that are connected to Mother Earth so in spring I re-emerge revitalized, deeply nourished and ready to grow.

 

So as I celebrate this quiet season of winter, I hope you will join in.

 Here are some of the messages that I have heard in the silence of past winters……

 

 

 

The Comfort of Home

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“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

― Edith Sitwell

 

 

 

 Sleep and Renew

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“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

 

 

 

Magical Views of the World

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“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.”

― Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen

 

 

 

Time to be Alone With Your Thoughts

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“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”

― Andrew Wyeth

 

 

 

Draw on the Strength of the Season

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“Too much sun after a Syracuse winter does strange things to your head, makes you feel strong, even if you aren’t.”

― Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

 

 

 

Memories

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“The first snow is like the first love. Do you remember your first snow?”

― Lara Biyuts

 

I hope you will join in now and tell us all about how you are celebrating the new season especially around this very special solstice   Just write a post and leave a comment here with your Seasonal Celebrations link.  

 

 

IMG_1831My winter mantra:

 

This winter will be a time for building strength as I work on my physical health and spiritual well-being emerging fit, powerful and more courageous for the next steps.

 

“Withstanding the cold develops vigor for the relaxing days of spring and summer. Besides, in this matter as in many others, it is evident that nature abhors a quitter.”  ~Arthur C. Crandall

 

 

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Come Join Us:

Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time.  I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether winter or summer or something else.  Share your traditions, holidays and celebrations in pictures and words.

And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of autumn here in the North and spring in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.

The rules are simple.  Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations.  If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts.  Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post.  Make sure to include a link with your comment.

Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the solstice (around the 21st of December).  And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog.  Your post should be linked in the weekend before the solstice to give us enough time to include your post in our summary.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create).  The badges here can be used in your post.   So won’t you join in the celebration!!

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Next up on the blog:     Monday will be time to see what happened in the November garden.  In December I plan to savor another Garden Book and present my last herb for the final installment of Simply The Best Herbs and Dozen for DianaElephant’s Eye on False Bay.  Of course I will be presenting my Garden Lessons Learned too.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.  A new post goes up on the 1oth.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2012.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

 

64 comments

  1. Christina says:

    I loved this post, for the beauty of the blanket of white snow, for your wise words but most because it made me think I should treat the dreadful (for me) days of August when the sun burns your eyes and it is so hot the plants shrivel into themselves. I should treat it as a time of rest, accept that the garden is not beautiful (at least snow is beautiful), that it is too hot to want to do anything except swim in the sea. I must try to remember this. for although I dislike the cold more each year it is a time when I can enjoy the foliage and structure of the garden. Winter seems to have come early here, usually February is the coldest month – we will have to wait and see! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Christina. What a great way to extend your harsher season and rest. I hope winter has not come too early for any of us, but it seems it is here to stay in my part of the world.

  2. Chloris says:

    Your garden looks beautiful with its blanket of snow.
    You are right we should celebrate this Season. It is a wonderful time of rest and renewal. And for a while we don’t need to feel guilty about all the jobs we have left undone. There’s nothing we can do about it. So we can focus on the garden of the mind and plan for next year.
    Chloris.

  3. Donna says:

    It is a peaceful, quiet time with winter approaching. Still almost a month away and the snow ushers in all that is good about the season. I enjoy the quieting of us, and the time to focus in on what nature affords us in beauty and in a time of rest.

  4. susan@life-change-compost says:

    Hi Donna, the photographs of your gazebo always move me and I think especially in the snow. You must love looking out on that scene from the warmth and comfort of Home. Reading your Verlyn Klinkenberg quote from The Rural Life made me wonder if he has put all his New York Times essays into a book. I’ll have to check. He is my favorite op-ed writer. Blessings to you in this season. I’m taking a break from the blog to do my Winter newsletter and then come back with full strength in the new year. Thank you for all you’ve done to help me in this past year.

    • Donna says:

      Indeed it is in a book now Susie. Glad you enjoy the gazebo…it is a special focal point for me. I will miss you joining in Susie but enjoy your break and I’ll see you in the New Year.

  5. Sandra Pawula says:

    Hi Donna,

    While reading your post, I almost began to miss winter! We don’t have winter in quite the same way where I live in Hawai’i. But, it does become rainy and chilly on many days, depending on the year. It could also be quite warm. It changes from day to day.

    I resonate with your aspirations for the winder, both the quiet and health building wishes. May your wishes be fulfilled.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you dear Sandra for your wishes…I would love to experience some of your winter and other seasons in Hawai’i someday.

      And I noticed you almost missed winter. I love it for a while but then as we get to the end it is a great test of patience for me waiting and watching for the first signs of spring.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much and I am glad you linked in with your incredible post. You are welcome to any of my snow especially as February and march linger on 🙂

  6. Cathy says:

    It’s lovely to see your garden covered in snow Donna – I can imagine the peace and quiet of it, muffling all other sounds. It is a good idea to consciously slow down and reflect at this time of year. I think many of us – me certainly – are thinking ahead too much and should just stop and take in the season’s pleasures. Have a lovely and peaceful weekend!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Cathy…I need to rest a while in winter before I can move ahead with plans…hope you will find time to rest and relax Cathy in your beautiful garden.

  7. Beth says:

    Hi Donna, I so identify with everything you’ve written. Winter is indeed a time to rest, reflect, and work on things other than the garden – including inner work. I like that you are accenting the positives about winter. It is indeed a beautiful season but one fraught with challenges. I am happy for a respite from garden work, although at the same time I look forward to spring. Blessings to you, Beth

    • Donna says:

      I too continue to look forward to spring Beth…and I do know those challenges as we get a lot of snow and I have a long way to drive to work daily…but as long as those times are minimal I can handle the challenges. And I do need some well deserved rest this winter 🙂

  8. Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams says:

    The last one just didn’t take…so lets try this again.

    A beautiful post, it makes me feel like I am standing on a path in a beautiful garden. Taking a moment of reflection, as the snow swirls gently down from the heavens.

    Jen

  9. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    What a beautiful post Donna, I love your snow-clad garden, but I love your approach to winter even more. I think it is so important to embrace each season for what it offers, live in the now rather than pining for the future, and using the slower pace of winter – even slower driving – to re charge your batteries is very wise. Love your mantra. I would join in but winter hasn’t really arrived in my garden yet! I haven’t even had a hard frost.

  10. Gail says:

    So beautiful! I wish it snowed here. It does look magical indeed! Stay warm and enjoy the view. Thanks for sharing your beautiful part of the world.

  11. PlantPostings says:

    Thanks for the attitude readjustment, Donna. 😉 The snow looks so pretty–especially when we don’t have to go out in it! You have a lot more snow than we do! And ours is melting this weekend as we’ve hit a slight warming trend before the next big chill. Beautiful images, and words!

  12. Island Threads says:

    Donna beautiful photos of your white garden, snow when it is fresh and clean always makes things look beautiful, the cold and slush are not so pretty,
    I wish my garden, meaning the weeds and tough grass would go to sleep as the nice plants have, winter is when the horrid plants take back the ground as they still grow in our wet, above freezing temps, I’m ignoring the garden and the horrid plants,
    take care driving and keep warm, Frances
    ps it’s a bit early for the solstice or are you wishing for longer days and spring ………

    • Donna says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Frances. My weeds are actually growing under that snow too. No I am not wishing for the solstice just yet. The meme is set out early to give folks time to write a post celebrating the season at hand. I will be posting a round-up of all the posts on the solstice. Although once the solstice comes, the days lighten and I can handle the snow better (especially driving in it) when it is more light out. 🙂

      Continue to ignore those horrid plants for now! I know yours and mine will still be there when we have time and desire to tackle them.

  13. Shirley says:

    Your gazebo is gorgeous as is the pristine snow surrounding it. I definitely remember my first snow as it was quite rare in tropical Houston!

    We find our time of garden rest in the late summer heat and accomplish our biggest garden tasks while the calendar says it is winter.

    • Donna says:

      Glad you like the gazebo and the snow. I remember reading how many in the warmer climate stay indoors in summer heat and work outside in winter.

      When I lived in AZ the heat from April to October was worse than our winter.

  14. Helene says:

    Lovely winter photos, it looks so serene with all the snow. We don’t get much snow here in London and when we do it usually is only for a few days every winter. Today is the official start of winter and it last for 3 months, but my garden year never ends and the seasons overlap so I can enjoy gardening all year round. My clematises, fuchsias and roses are still flowering whilst the snowdrops, iris reticularis and crocuses are already sticking out of ground. Overlapping seasons indeed!

  15. Jason says:

    We had a bit of snow in mid-November, but it is gone now. I’m sure we will see more before too long. Your meme got me thinking about how this time of year the weather provides us with a break that encourages more planning, evaluation, and generally gardening in your head. Without this pause for breath, my garden would be much less than it is.

  16. Loredana Donovan says:

    What a wonderful post, Donna. I enjoyed your inspirational words, and all the great winter quotes. I love the black & white photos. No snow here yet and mild temperatures–still feels like a late Fall, not quite winter yet. I will probably share my post closer to the solstice. 🙂

  17. KL says:

    I so much agree with you that winter is the time to ponder and reflect. That’s what I also do. I get a longing feeling, a feeling which is sometimes depressing; other times very uplifting when my soul gets lighter and filled with something that makes me jump out, be happy and fly away — can’t describe them. I love looking at the empty tree and think. It is also a time of quite reflection, catching up on readings and browsing garden-related stuff as there is no work to do in the garden.

    I can write a whole thesis out of it, out of my feelings during winter, but time is prohibiting it. Perhaps soon.

    I enjoyed your writing as usual. When are you going to start writing out books and publish them? They will be magical to read. How do you remember all these sayings? I loved this one: wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

    • Donna says:

      You are too kind but I hope to find time soon to begin getting some books down…hard part is finding the publisher or publishing them yourself.

      I actually have many sources for quotes and I am looking at them for hours to find inspiration and just the right feeling to match what I want to convey…I am glad you and so many enjoy them as well. The one you referenced really spoke to me as well.

      May you find time this winter to reflect and feel uplifted and forget the gray days.

    • Donna says:

      Derek thank you for participating and linking in…I look forward to reading your post soon. I know what you mean about putting the garden to bed and winter arriving. It is a time we tuck the garden and gardener in for that long winter’s nap!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks for joining in Holley!! Sending you some winter love from NY. We are braced for a storm coming tonight. Just N of us they are having lake effect snow…2 feet yesterday…2 feet today and it is moving our way!

  18. Jean at Jean's Garden says:

    Donna, I’m finally getting caught up with your blog and just wanted to comment on how beautiful and peaceful your winter scenes are. I am enjoying the dazzling effects of the recent ice storm (easier to enjoy because I didn’t lose power!); last night I lay in bed and looked out at a night sky where the stars shimmered through the ice on tree branches swaying in the wind. It was an enchanting sight. I hope you’re having a happy and relaxing holiday.

    • Donna says:

      Jean your wintery icy scene sounds magical….I am resting for about 8 days and then back on the 2nd. My plans for a transition to my retirement were again thwarted and I am regrouping and making a big decision after the first once I have a bit more info. I hope your holiday time off gives you peace and rest and renewal.

  19. Jayne Rogers says:

    This was a wonderful way of looking at Winter. It is not my favorite time of year, and I keep pushing to move South. But I see all the wonderful reasons you find this season appealing!

    • Donna says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post Jayne and welcome to my garden!! My favorite is spring, but I try to find the best in all seasons….Happy New Year Jayne!!

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