Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making it through the winter: a new series

Oh, this gray rainy weather is tough. I noticed the other day that while it was noontime, at the height of the day, it was so dark out I had to turn all of the lights on. Dark, gloomy, cold and stormy. And so it is for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and especially for us up north. Triply so for Northwesterners, where our dark days seem to go on forever. Are you still reading my gloomy post?

I had thought the Australia trip would ward off my winter gloom, but I can feel the SADs inching up on me. Fortunately, I have a whole arsenal of activities and rituals I do to keep them at bay, and it's time to kick them into high gear.

For those of us who are gardeners, the dark days of winter give us time to do other things than work in our gardens and play outside. I'd love to hear what you do to keep your mood up in the winter, and if you're a gardener, how you spend this time dreaming of spring.*

Here is my first installation on Making It Through Winter....

Ritual of tea to brighten dark winter days

Ritual. There's something about being a gardener that brings out the witch in me. Tending to the earth, connecting to it, and practicing a daily (okay, okay: it's more like weekly) meditation of weed pulling puts me in a place of calm. Weed pulling gives me a time to work through things in my head, or just clear my head of workday worries, deadlines and creative projects I'm noodling through. Establishing a wintertime ritual to help replace this calms me.

Mexican Mango Chili Mate

One of these rituals is tea making. There's the witchlike steam, potion building, and elixer stirring. The beauty of the color of the tea in a beautiful cup. A cup that is only used for tea drinking. This is a Mexican Mango Chili Mate from Capital Teas in Washington DC. The cup is a bowl and plate from my friends at Lonesomeville Pottery. If my blog had scratch'n'sniff you'd be in herbal, spice, floral heaven. It really does smell like majik.

Majik tea ritual

*I'm writing this as a series gathering my thoughts on making it through our winters, especially for gardeners. I may use this content, and your comments, in an upcoming column I'm writing for PQ Monthly. PQ Monthly is a new monthly print magazine/daily online news launching in February. I'm excited to be their garden/home/living columnist, and will share more information here as that unfolds.


A Lewis said...

ooh la la.....I LOVE those steam shots. Pretty! Especially on a cold winter day.

Mom said...

Wish you were here to share a cuppa with me.
Hugs, Mom

Krista said...

Your photography is always mesmerizing, L!

EcoGrrl said...

It's funny you talk of how dark and gloomy this winter has been here in Portland. I think it's been pretty amazing - for the most part, incredibly mild, with a lot more warmth and sun than we usually see :)

As for me, I bike year-round which is always good for the mood, along with taking walks through the neighborhoods, rain or shine. Check out my friend's blog (seattle girl) at - she did a great post today on something similar :)

Lovely blog btw!!