Finding Bliss in the Depth of Winter
I love the words of Albert Camus: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
I remind myself of this every winter in Montana. I realize that his words are more metaphorical, but with Montana winters being as they are, I like to take them more literally.
It’s harder for me to find the beauty in lady winter. She’s so cold and harsh. My skin doesn’t like her, for one thing. It gets dry and uneven and itchy. All I want to do is eat comfort food and rest. It’s harder to get motivated for exercise, which is hard on me and my dogs. But, I think the main issue is that it lasts so darn long! I really enjoy it for a few months, but by the time February rolls around, I’m SO over it.
One thing that always helps me find my bliss in the depth of winter–the sassy old broad–is getting outside despite the weather or temperature. Matt and I went on a walk/hike on one of our chilliest days and while it was hard to take the first step, once we did, we did not regret it. We were energized after and agreed to try to get out more.
I miss being in nature during the winter. Most of my summer days are spent outdoors in one form or another, but the cold weather restricts my outdoor time.
I miss walking along a narrow path and being surrounded by trees, sunlight peeking through, dust stirring up around my bare ankles, and soaking my feet in a stream after a long hike.
I have discovered that I can get some version of that summer bliss during the cold season. The narrow trail, the safety of the trees…the peace.
The winter world is quiet and still. It’s easy to find solace, much easier than when the weather is nice and the trails are crowded. Unfortunately, heart rocks are nowhere to be found in the snow, but I did find this.
And this guy–my patient model, my (heart) rock, my year-round sunshine.
I am truly blessed…We both are.
We are on this harsh, winter trail together, making the best of it, and I couldn’t hope for a better co-pilot.
These two trees grew high above the rest, almost in an embrace. Lovers, perhaps? Stronger together?
We live in a breathtakingly gorgeous place, but I feel that the most precious beauty is found in the tiny details.
The big picture isn’t all that bad.
But those precious details–a heart carved on a tree, a single strand of barbed wire, a warm embrace–that’s where it’s at.
This is bliss in the depth of winter.