Monday, January 15, 2018

Warmly Embracing Winter

I'm not done with 2017 yet.  I still have a number of summer and autumn adventures that need to be stored in my cyber-memory chest, which I'm going to get down to when I have enough time to spare. So I'm letting my one foot stay in 2017 and the other in 2018. 😃

Meanwhile, with this post, I'm officially and belatedly putting down in writing my wholehearted welcome to the winter season. The 2017 winter solstice came last Dec. 21, a day with the shortest daylight in the year.

This is now my 8th winter, and my love for it has not wavered. Amid the arctic coldness, my heart sizzles with bliss as I walk about on a snowy day. The sense of novelty, fascination and astonishment just gets reawakened every year, as if winter is something new to me.

I still love to see everything icy - the ice crystals, such as snowflakes, frosts and ice patterns on a frozen body of water. The frost- and snow-laden trees still captivate me. This photoholic creature, which is me, gets intoxicated with the fragile and subtle charm of the crystalline whiteness that abounds everywhere, while my tirelessly cold-defying fingers cling to my camera, primed to shoot anytime my eyes spot something pleasant.

Whereas others try escape the supposed harshness of winter by traveling to warmer countries, I stay here to luxuriate in the purity and the serenity of a world turned white, to watch the falling snow that fosters meditation, to pay close attention to anything lovely that the season provides and take the lessons that each teaches us. I don't want to leave a winter wonderland and miss the apex of its luster.

In winter, our birding activities keep going too. Although it's quite hard to go birding in the wild on account of the brief daylight and frigid temperature, somehow I enjoy seeing new birds, and the joy that I feel makes up for the painful sensation in my frostbitten fingers and toes due to long exposure to a sub-zero temperature.  I'm also thrilled to watch the winter birds swarming around the feeders furnished by the community in several places, and in our own balcony. This is my first winter birding ever.

As to winter's darkness, I don't see it as hostile or uncomfortable. I see it more like an amiable impetus to homely activities, cozy repose after a day's work and setting up decorative candle lights and subdued electric lamps.

And so.... this year too, I'm fortifying my kinship with winter, with the snow especially. I'm letting its immaculate whiteness metaphorically purify my thoughts which eventually engenders a self-assurance that I'm at peace with myself and with everyone I come in touch with.

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