Resolving to stay healthy in the new year, James and I are pulling on our winter boots and getting outside to walk around our property, regardless of the weather!

And in the process, Winter and I are getting better acquainted and I am once again enjoying this wildly unpredictable, bi-polar season of the year! My previous perception of Old Man Winter was prejudiced, determined by the snow storms that interfered with my schedule and the salty slush that messed up my floors; I’ve rarely chosen to experience, much less enjoy, Winter.

Recently, however, James and I are crunching through ice-crusted snow or squelching through snowmelt–often in moonlight–tracking Orion’s climb across the heavens, passing beneath the rustle of wind-tossed Pines, and running up the rise to stand breathless and awed under the stars. By allowing myself to experience–and be OK with–biting cold and slippery surfaces, I am beginning to recognize and appreciate the beauty in this harsh, bone-numbing season–in the naked tree-silhouettes against the sky, the lonely cry of a hawk rending the silence, the whoosh of ice crystals against rocks, the diamond-sparkle of fresh snow in sunlight.

Winter slaps me in the face, waking me up to the stark beauty in the landscape, in the overarching sky, in our garden. It makes me feel, notice, hear things I wouldn’t attend to if I were comfortable. Winter reminds me that, in every season, there is unrelenting joy and beauty to discover if I will just go outside with eyes, ears, and heart wide open.

Joyfully contributed by Betty Hanselman

Gardener’s wife (& exuberant Winter wanderer)