Months: Late Dec, Jan, Feb, Early Mar (Northern Hemisphere)
When the snow-covered forest lies motionless beneath the faintly darkening sky, it is completely still. If it then begins to snow and the air fills with snowflakes, it is still completely silent, but the silence is different, it seems to grow denser, more concentrated, and that sound, which is no sound, only a nuance of silence, a kind of intensifying or deepening of it, is the sonic expression of winter’s essence.
Doesn't this beautiful quote by one of my favorite thinkers - Karl Ove Knausgaard - truly capture the essence of winter? I think it does. I've experienced winters in New Delhi and New Jersey... and both are different and yet so similar. The silence, the freezing temperatures, layered clothing, people cooped indoors, people warming themselves by the hearth cooking warm and oily foods to help them get through the cold days... these are similar. What's different is the snowfall. Despite freezing temperatures, Delhi does not get any snowfall. New Jersey, however, gets a lot of snow sometimes... and then I feel like I am sitting in a house inside a snowglobe.
Winter is cold... dry... quiet... and usually a challenging time for many. The nights are long and days are short, the trees are completely bare unless they are covered with snow, vegetation is scarce, animals are in hibernation, and most birds have migrated to warmer places. It feels as though nature has come to a stand still.
But - beneath all that stillness, nature slowly dissolves leaves and plants into the soil, moving all their minerals underground. Nature's energy, which moved down into the roots of the trees and into the earth during Autumn, is now settled in its core... relaxing... just being... waiting to spring back to life at the end of three months. It's a long wait, so nature takes a back seat and simply rests.
If we tune in, we will learn to do what nature does at this time. RELAX. Winter is a great time to introspect, meditate, plan, study, and just be. It's also about bonding with family and enjoying some 'quality time' together. Many of us step out to work and enjoy winter sports as well. As you do that, just remember these words 'Keep yourself warm and don't overdo it'. Conserve your energy because that's what this season is all about.
While nature's settles into its core... so does the energy in our body. That's why, it's important to nourish the body's core with warm, moist foods made from local produce. The warm core also allows for slow-cooked foods rich in fats and proteins to be added to our diets. While the energy stays at the body's core, the extremities become vulnerable, therefore you need to keep yourself protected from the cold, be it in the form of layers or in the form of an occasional oil massage, especially if you tend to get very dry during the season.