Gratitude Friday 01/13/23 – The Days of Mid-January
I started to reflect on being in mid-January. Where I live, it is generally cold. The weather is unpredictable. It is the time of the year that people tend to complain the most about the weather. January tends to be a time when we get a big snowstorm or two. It can be difficult to plan things. Mother nature has the prerogative to decide that all bets are off. She dictates what we do. January remined us we are often along for the ride and not behind the wheel. How small we are in scheme of things is not a bad thing to be reminded of from time to time, perhaps even a thing to feel grateful for.
Nor-easters are the weather events in my region. For me, what we know call a bomb cyclone is an opportunity to slow down and experience what nature can do. We have not had a big one so far this year, but mid-January on is when they often show up. The melodramatic term was coined in a 1980 research paper by MIT meteorologists Frederick Sanders and John R. Gyakum used it to better communicate the intensity of winter storms. Mission accomplished.
I think about all the people keeping our world going without regard to the weather. People making sure the electricity stays on, our remain roads passable, food on the store shelves and medical care available for those in need. A lot of hard work is done by people who get out of bed every day to make sure we have our needs met. A shout out to anyone who gets up every morning in a line of work in which you are committed to go outside no matter what the weather is doing.
I decided to dig through some January Winter quotes for a few gems. Grateful for writers and thinkers through time and the reservoir of their well-crafted words that capture what January and Winter offer. Winter is a time of hardship and darkness, reflection, and renewal. We all experience winters of life, and it is often that these are the days we learn most about who we are and what is important to us. Recovery starts in our darkest times. So, a few favorite quotes:
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck
“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
“There the world began over again every day in an ever-new light. O light! This is the cry of all the characters of ancient drama brought face to face with their fate. This last resort was ours, too, and I knew it now. In the middle of winter, I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.” ― Albert Camus,
“Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.” ― Mary Oliver
“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” ― Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Dickensian poverty tends to occur after Christmas in January. For it is then, with pockets empty, diary decimated and larder bare, that the general populace sinks into a collective pauper's hibernation until Valentine's Day.” - Stewart Stafford
“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o'clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.” ― Thomas De Quincey
“For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it will your heart survive.”
― Maggie Stiefvate
“Sometimes in the winter in the dark I'd wake and everything that smacked of dread would have lifted up and stolen away in the night and I would just be lying there with the snow blowing against the glass. I'd think that maybe I should turn on the lamp but then I'd just lie there and listen to the quiet. The wind in the quiet. There are times now when I see those patients in their soiled nightshirts lying on gurneys in the hallway with their faces to the wall that I ask myself what humanity means. I would ask does it include me.” ― Cormac McCarthy
“It snowed all week. Wheels and footsteps moved soundlessly on the street, as if the business of living continued secretly behind a pale but impenetrable curtain. In the falling quiet there was no sky or earth, only snow lifting in the wind, frosting the window glass, chilling the rooms, deadening, and hushing the city” - Truman Capote
So here we are in mid-winter. It is a season when the world slows, a time of transition. We need Winter to bring us Spring. We need darkness to remind us of the sweetness of light. We need hard times to find the very best in ourselves and those around us. I am grateful for these deep dark days of winter. Do you have a favorite January winter reflection?
What are you grateful for today?