A new cold weather tradition

As I’ve gotten older, my body is getting used to the hot, humid days of summer in the South.

It hasn’t always been this way.

When I was younger, I despised summer and reveled in winter. The autumnal equinox meant cool weather was on its way, even though that cool weather didn’t arrive for another month. When winter finally came, and with it the holiday season, it would be February before I’d don a coat.

As I’ve matured and entered my 50s, however, it seems that winter and I are no longer friends.

That said, I approach the cold season with a bit of trepidation these days. No longer can I sit outside on the deck and enjoy a book without shivering myself silly. No longer will the sun remain high enough – or out long enough – for me to do all the outdoors things I wish I could do.

“No,” the Earth seems to say. “Summertime has come and gone. Watch me. I’ll show you what it’s time for you to do.”

So, I look outside my window and notice that the leaves on our crape myrtles are a vibrant orange. The pines in the woods are beginning to shed their needles, filling our small koi pond and sprinkling the ground with gold. The flowers in our garden have died and all around me it looks like the Earth is rolling into the coming winter months.

I am reminded to listen to the Earth, so I watch Her roll with the wheel of the year. She shows me that now is the time to rest, rejuvenate and prepare to be reborn in the springtime when She comes to life again in an explosion of color.

This helps me relax and realize it’s probably time to settle into a cold-weather routine.

Mr. LaVeaux and I are avid readers. We have a myriad of books that we’ve collected over the years, many of which we’ve never read. I have decided to read as many of those books this winter as I have time to read.

Something that Mr. LaVeaux and I have fallen into is the act of brewing herbal teas at night and enjoying them with a bit of dark chocolate as we read. We cozy up in lap afghans I crocheted years ago…he in his reading chair, me on my love seat. With book in hand, a tea cup and chocolate on the table beside us, we relax and lose ourselves into the books with which we’ve chosen to spend our evening.

We’ve discovered that this is the most incredible way to spend a few hours each evening as we unwind from the day’s activities. I can honestly say that my sleep has become deep and uninterrupted each night since we’ve begun this new evening tradition.

Lately, we’ve been enjoying Lindt 85% dark chocolate and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea by Celestial Seasonings. There is nothing that warms the soul more than a delicious cup of tea…tea that soothes you and sets your heart at ease.

For those who are curious about my reading interests, I’m currently engaged with “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo, “A Weekend to Change Your Life” by Joan Anderson and “Cannery Row” by John Steinbeck.

How can I read more than one book at the time? It’s really no different than watching and following several television shows, catching one episode of this then watching one episode of that. As someone who doesn’t watch TV, this is my “TV” and I enjoy engaging my imagination rather than watching moving pictures.

While I write this, I am reminded that the whole purpose of following the Earth and watching Her during this time is to give myself permission to relax and rejuvenate myself. This is what fall and winter are all about…slowing down, being domestic, snuggling, tending the soul.

Like the Earth, we all come alive in the spring. Let’s choose to use the cold months to refresh ourselves. Find what speaks to your soul, do those things you’ve put off during summer, and allow yourself to enjoy doing nothing if you so feel like it.

Let the Earth guide you. It’s time to rest.

Photo credit: w-dog.net

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