Winter here on the North coast of Ireland means leaning into the darkness, letting go of the long light days and giving in to the closing in evenings. Its lighting fires, reading books, making plans and looking back to see where changes could be made for next year.
December- The Month of Light
The first month of winter begins in December although I could already feel its arrival in the last weeks of November. December is my favourite winter month, full of feasting and celebration! A month of light, as we decorate our homes with candles, fairy lights and decorations to counteract the brief days as we pass through the shortest day of the year on the 21st. I enjoy lighting a candle to sit on our kitchen table, and in the evenings enjoy nothing more than sitting in front of our roaring log fire reading a festive novel.
Ideas for December journalling and reflection//
//What do you want to celebrate this year? What have been some of the best moments?
//How can you show more gratitude each day?
January- The Month of Introspection
When we get to January nature is truly asleep, tired and spent after the busy seasons before. Many animals are still hibernating, sheltered from the harsh weather. Growth is now at a minimum due to the low levels of light and freezing cold temperatures. Although my husband and I still brave the elements to head outside to our fields to harvest crops. The roots happily sit in the cold soil for a while longer, as well as the leaves of the hardy kale, no longer growing but still good to harvest from. It does feel like everything has halted, paused. And the atmosphere is both peaceful and internalised.
January is a time of introspection. A time to reflect, to plan. A time for renewal and rebirth. During this time I crave new gardening books, seed catalogues and a fresh gardening notebook to scribble ideas in. Theres something about planning a garden, whether its a new bed or some beautiful window boxes to really uplift and provide some much needed seasonal escapism.
If you struggle to enjoy January I encourage you too see it as a time to amp up the self care, to journal and reflect, go within and give yourself what you need to order to grow, be healthy and be strong both mentally and physically.
Ideas for January journalling and reflection//
//What would you like to let go of from the last 12 months?
//How can you support yourself both physically and mentally in the coming year?
February- The Month of New Growth
In February things are on the move again. Even though the weather feels more gruelling than ever the substantial shift in light means that seeds can be sown and will begin germinating. Its time to shrug off the lethargy of winter and search for signs of new life such as snowdrops, which are some of the first new growth to react to the increase in day length and pop their pretty white heads through the frosty ground. Theres also fluffy pussy willow blossom, and early cherry blossom not yet in flower but budding ..its enough to fill a small vase with some snowdrops and to steal away a few twigs for a vase or two to force some spring blossom. Taking time each day to feel gratitude for these small pleasures is so good for our happiness. There is plenty of beauty to be found in this tired old winter month if we spend some time looking for it!
I like to use this last month of winter to enjoy the peace and quiet before the sowing madness hits in March again and I spend every spare second sowing seed after seed into trays.
Ideas for February journalling and reflection//
//What things do you want to nuture and see grow? This could be a project, a person or a part of yourself such as creativity.
//Where can you see signs of new life, expansion and growth?