Oh Winter. I was done with you in January. So done. But you weren’t done with me. In fact you had more to come, hurling eastern winds at us and unifying the landscape under a fleece of snow in March. I enjoyed that first snowy week; heart-warmed by the way it drew people from their homes into a sense of awe and adventure. But for the rest of the time, I have been ready for Spring; eager to air my ankles, slip into lighter jackets and feel a jaunt in my step. I want to embrace the seasons, but Winter, you were a struggle to be close to this year.
Some things that carried me through:
We made our first trip to Kew Gardens since moving to London. It was a bitter, just-tipped-into-the-New-Year day, but we enjoyed a stomp around the grounds. And when the chill had truly settled in, the Palm House offered some humid relief; we stayed until kicking out time.
I picked up a Pilea peperomioides plant from Kew’s shop and have been nurturing my first Pilea baby. As usual for this disobedient gardener, I read some advice online about Pilea propagation and then flagrantly ignored most of it. The baby has survived, which I’m pleased with, but I worry that I didn’t learn my lesson. Then I wonder if maybe I learnt a different one instead. Then I think, it’s a tiny plant – maybe all these expectations about lessons from it are a bit too much.
We evicted our Christmas tree from the living room in January, but didn’t get round to planting it for a couple of months. After being blown over by numerous Winter storms, it wasn’t looking thrilled with living, but now that it’s in the ground there are signs of new growth so I’m hopeful it will make it until December.
Ursula Le Guin, one of my favourite writers, passed away this Winter. I enjoyed this article from Brain Pickings about her and her views on the difference between being busy with doing versus occupied with living.
We visited the Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and it was the perfect blend of nostalgia, insight and whimsy.
I’ve begun journalling much more intentionally since the beginning of the year, in large part inspired by this video. I’ve kept a diary fairly regularly for over half of my life. When my parents returned my childhood to me in seven boxes last summer, the haul included dozens of notebooks charting my journey from childhood’s childhood’s fluffy, purple and lockable book to simpler, sturdier hardback. In the last couple of years, journalling has been much more sporadic. In 2018 I’ve found it incredibly nourishing to give more frequent and longer periods to it, diving beyond surface-level feelings to the depths below, making connections and shaping decisions.
And just when I thought Winter might nearly be done with me, I was struck down by the flu. But while I slept it off, the second snow melted and our first daffodils flowered.
This is part of a regular series on the things that spur me on to keep going with intentional living. What has spurred you on recently?
Today’s soundtrack: First Aid Kit // The Lion’s Roar