Monday, January 2, 2012

Seasonal Santosha

Now that the holidays are officially over, I've noticed more and more people grumbling about the long winter ahead of them, wishing they could hasten the arrival of springtime and skip the cold winter months altogether.  I try my best not to join in on the complaining, but sometimes I get frustrated by the inadequate central heat in our apartment and the limited hours of winter daylight and I find myself longing for the warm sunny days of summer.

This winter, instead of grumbling about the cold and the dark, I hope to develop a sense of "seasonal santosha" or "climate contentment."  I want to focus on appreciating the wonderful things that make this time of year so special and unique.

I love the visual delights of winter - a perfect 6-sided snowflake caught in the palm of my gloved hand, the brilliant red of a cardinal perched on a bare tree limb, the imprint of a freshly-made snow angel.

I love the music of winter - the rhythmic crunch of my boots in the snow, the melodic laughter of children sledding in my neighbors' yard, the haunting voice of the winter wind breaking up the silence of a long dark night.

I love the tangible pleasures of winter - the softness of my son's fleece footie-pajamas, the weight of my down comforter wrapping me in warmth as I sleep, the blazing heat of a hearth-fire.

I love the intoxicating smells of winter - freshly-baked cookies cooling on metal racks, long hot baths infused with scented oils, the mix of musky chimney smoke and crisp cold winter air.

I love the luxurious tastes of winter - the pots of spiced tea I share with my husband in the evenings, freshly-baked bread soaked in homemade soup, my favorite chocolates that I get once a year on Valentines Day.

So, the next time I find myself fantasizing about spring flowers and sandals and sundresses, I'll remind myself that the winter has its own joys...that without these cold dark months we wouldn't have icicles and snowmen and big cozy sweaters and steaming cups of hot cocoa and so many other wonderful things.

- Lori

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