This has been one of the mildest Maine winters in my memory, and yet I find myself feeling a bit of the hum drum of it all. Darkness, cold, gray, and a lack of motivation. I am, and always have been, highly influenced by the seasons, and in winter I go into a sort of hibernation. I start my days more slowly, I feel less spontaneous, I accomplish less.
It has taken me a long time in life to come to truly understand this, and to accept it. This is just who I am, a person who might dash along at a rabbit’s pace come May and right into September, and who slows down like a tortoise all through Maine’s prolonged winter.
With this understanding and acceptance also comes the knowledge that I will have to fight a little bit harder for energy sometimes. Especially now that I am a mom. As tempting as hibernation is for adult me, my toddler feels cooped up in the house on these cold days, and needs a chance to get out under the winter sunshine while it is still shining. I try to get us out at least once a day. This is difficult without a yard to play in, and with so many extra layers to pile on, but I try hard to make it happen. Some days are just too cold for his little body, and therefore we have also been making a lot of art, reading stacks of books, and tapping into our imaginations for things like baby dolls riding on dinosaurs.
I have to admit though, I kind of like keeping our schedule more sparse in these post-Christmas weeks of winter. It makes the hectic days feel almost like a good shake up, and gives us more time to focus on cultivating a sense of calm here at home. I really am pining for spring, but winter is an opportunity to rest ourselves and seek stillness, which can be wonderful too, if we allow it to be.