Many dread winter. It was so long ago in days gone by when there was no central heat or a vehicle in which to travel. Nights were cold and a forgotten fire meant frozen toes in the morning, teeth chattering until the fire began to warm the home once again. Now, we have furnaces that provide heat. Even though I have a furnace, I love a toasty warm wood fire in the porcelain stove, radiating that dry heat and warming the old bones. Winter gives time for reflection, for crafting and planning the spring planting, for making garments and sundries or if one is fortunate enough to have a large heated space, to build and create large items.
Long ago people were fearful of the dark nights and prayed to the gods to bring the fertility of the soil back to the land. The myth of Demeter and Persephone is well known. Persephone is the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of the Earth. One day Hades falls in love with her and steals her to rule his kingdom in the underworld, but Demeter is greatly displeased and distraught and causes the Earth to become barren, cold and dark. Hades feels sorry and strikes a bargain with Demeter so the people will have crops and joy once again, and they agree that for half the year Persephone will stay with Hades as his bride and rule the underworld with him and for half of the year she may return to her mother. When Persephone returns, Demeter is overjoyed and brings back the light and the gardens and crops once again flourish, though they die and the days are dark and nights long when Hades has her with him. This was an old way to explain why we have seasons.
My godmother said she would not like to live somewhere where it is the same all the time and that she loves all four seasons. She lives not far from where I am now and though they traveled to Hawaii in the winter, they still loved the snow and the crisp air when they came back home. I do not mind the winter. It is cold, yes, and the nights are so long and the days not intense enough to provide that dose of vitamin D from the sunlight that humans need to feel spry. But it is a blessing just the same.
Winter, if nothing else, gives us an appreciation for not winter. And I am so grateful that I have a little home that is warm and a soft bed to lay my head and rest at the end of a busy day. Thank you Creator for the seasons and for all that there is, and for winter and the beauty we miss in it.