Winter is, without doubt, the least appreciated season. The snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain and slush that accompany winter are often portrayed as inconvenient foes to be fought and conquered, even though the weather behaves seasonally appropriate. As one who likens the sun and beach to heaven's offsite office space, I've gained new newfound respect this year for short, dark days, snow, frost and cold temperatures.
A Cup of Hibernation
Hibernation is not death. Every thing, including the ground, needs to pause, to slow down and to rest periodically. Winter is a tangible reminder for all of us to slow down and to regroup. The days with shorter sunlight teach me to conserve my energy for tasks that truly matter and to make the most of every moment.
In addition, success is not a function of whether or not there are spectators present. During hibernation, only the ones in the den know the amount of activity taking place there. Everyone else finds out what happened in the cave when winter is complete. When it is time, all will see.
Crisp Air and Clear Thoughts
Isn't it amazing how much visibility improves on a cold day? On a sunny day, the oxygen-rich air makes the sky appear even more blue and the scenery more vivid. As I inhale the cold, crisp air, its freshness removes any and all residual stale thoughts. It's a great incentive to keep breathing and to keep walking.
As I watch the snow fall, every snowflake prompts me to notice its uniqueness. Like snowflakes, there are no two people alike and no person is alive mistakenly. Snowflakes are particles of uniqueness. When individual snowflakes come together, however, they create a force that changes both plans and travel routes.
Winter is beautiful, powerful and restorative in a way that I've previously overlooked. Thankfully, this winter gives us all ample opportunity to think about the season's benefits over many pots of great tea.
Teas to Sip By
Here are some tea companies to help you replenish your winter stock:
> Upton Tea Imports (Every quarterly catalog includes tea history)
> Chicago Tea Garden (Golden Bi Luo, a tea for every cupboard)
>Rishi Tea (For the curious, Vanilla Mint Pu-Erh is very well-balanced)