We’re almost there, people. The shortest day of the year is less than 2 weeks away. We’ve entered the most gradual stretch of the receding daylight curve; longer days are on the horizon.
My kids have been practicing “Joy to the World” in preparation for their Christmas pageant. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, the lyric: “and heaven and nature sing” seems particularly meaningful this time of year. I know lots of folks who fall more in “the bleak mid-winter” camp of carols, but I think even our Scroogiest instincts can be trained to listen for nature’s song around us.
Here in Seattle, we’ve had an especially cold and crisp start to the season. Usually, we are socked in with clouds and rain this time of year. But days of cold, clear skies have led to many dark and star-filled nights: a rare treat for us in cloud country.
And for those of you living in the ever-widening snow-belt, how do you hear nature’s song amongst the snow plows and salt trucks? In what way is the snow an opportunity to connect with neighbors and nature? How do you find snow drawing you outward, even as the cold temperatures tend to drive you back indoors? What opportunities for playing in nature (preferably between noon and 2 p.m.!!, per my earlier posts!) appear at your doorstep? Which songs do you sing while shoveling the walk?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the busy and the rush of the season. When the pace feels too frenetic, remember to look outward toward nature and neighbors and find those sweet, sonorous moments. Repeat the sounding joy!