Tag Archives: winter

When we sip tea

“When we sip tea, we are on our way to serenity.” —  Alexandra Stoddard With all the bad weather this winter has brought us, it’s definitely tea time.  So I couldn’t resist repeating my offer from one year ago today (which you can read about at the link below). Anyone who would like me to …

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As the magnet finds iron

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”  — Henry Ward Beecher As I write this, two weeks before publication, much of the country is in the grip of yet another …

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Beauty without color

“Beauty without color seems somehow to belong to another world.” — Murasaki Shikibu Walking through the Norfolk airport recently, I looked to my left and saw the scene pictured above.  Though most of the snow had melted, I thought at first it was a tree that was somehow still covered in snow.  However, on looking …

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Some kind of recreational activity

“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.” — Dave Barry I know people who have a genuine medical need for coffee, and I’m not one of them.  I have …

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It takes courage

“It takes courage to be crocus-minded…Highly irregular. Knifing through hard-frozen ground and snow, sticking their necks out, because they believe in Spring and have something personal and emphatic to say about it.” — Jo Sorley Deciding to have faith and hope isn’t always easy, but it is a decision, and one that comes more naturally …

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Repainting the landscape

“Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. …

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We hope it

“Our destiny often looks like a fruit-tree in winter. Who would think from its pitiable aspect that those rigid boughs, those rough twigs could next spring again be green, bloom, and even bear fruit? Yet we hope it, we know it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe After the difficulties of an especially harsh year, I …

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Places in our hearts

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”  — Gertrude S. Wister When we first moved to Virginia, I was delighted that the home we bought featured several camellias along the back fence.  They’ve grown impressively large, and since they bloom in winter, …

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We need quiet

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.” ― Ester Buchholz Of all the seasons, winter seems most linked with quiet; short days, long nights, the silence of snowfall and the calming blank canvas of …

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A white quilt

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll Snow can seem brutal when we have to shovel it, …

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Actually see

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.” ― Orhan Pamuk There’s a double blessing in opening our eyes to the world around us.  Not only are we …

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Divine pleasures

“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.” ― Thomas De Quincey Before Jeff’s surgery in November, when he was disappointed …

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The diamond-frosted clasp

“December, the diamond-frosted clasp linking twelve jeweled months to yet another year.” — Phyllis Nicholson While most of us associate December with the holiday festivities, there is also the winding down of the calendar year, and a sense of wonder about how fast the months flew by, whether we were having fun or not. I …

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Autumn asks

“Autumn asks that we prepare for the future —that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go—to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness.” — Bonaro W. Overstreet Maybe autumn has such widespread appeal because it embodies the continual dilemma facing all of us, almost …

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Bright and intense and beautiful

“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.” ― Siobhan Vivian That’s what I do on my walks; stockpile the colors and images and cool, smoke-scented …

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Something is afoot

“It is a bright and chill early spring day.  The air is crisp but the earth is insistent…The wind is stiff and needling.  It still feels like winter, but spring itself is positive and determined.  Something is afoot, and it is festive and uncontrollable and undeniable.” — Julia Cameron I’ve heard more than a little …

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There will be times

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.” — Anton Chekhov Even when the trees appear to be bare, there is a lot happening underground.  A gardener once explained to me that fall is the best …

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Firesides on winter evenings

“The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cozy parlor firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of …

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Winter lives

The “dead” of winter — Or so they say. But winter lives In her own way. She leaves her tracks, She shows us signs: Not brilliant blooms, But webs of lines. — Douglas Florian As I write this, there is snow on the ground outside and I have my space heater running near my feet.  …

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Permit yourself the luxury

“Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do – or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.” —  Stanley Crawford Each year, I enter January with delusions about how much I will get done — I will clean out my closets, sort through old …

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Excitement and peace

“It was the sort of storm that rarely happened…and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the …

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Singularly moved

I, singularly moved To love the lovely that are not beloved, Of all the seasons most Love winter. – Coventry Patmore If you read the comments section, you may recall that I mentioned this verse to Marlene when she said she loved winter. This is the post I told her I would write for her. …

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Snow helps

“I believe that snow helps strip away the things that don’t matter. It leaves us thinking of little else but the greatness of nature, the place of our souls within it, and the dazzling whiteness that lies ahead.” ― Charlie English If English is right about snow, it may help to explain why the final years of …

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A poet in January

“When one reads a poet in January, it is as lovely as when one goes to walk in June.” — Jean Paul Friedrich Richter If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know how much I love walking, especially in mild weather. But I think Jean Paul was right about poetry and January, which …

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Earth’s immeasurable surprise

“Lambs that learn to walk in snow When their bleating clouds the air Meet a vast unwelcome, know Nothing but a sunless glare. Newly stumbling to and fro All they find, outside the fold, Is a wretched width of cold. As they wait beside the ewe, Her fleeces wetly caked, there lies Hidden round them, …

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