Jurich: Embrace WinterWritten by Stacy Jurich | | email@example.com
A drive to Detroit mid-afternoon the day before Winter Solstice reminded me how gloomy winter can be. My mind started drifting to memories of Hawaiian beaches, bare feet around the clock and consistent temperatures in the 80’s. Maybe … nah. I knew in April that I wanted to immerse myself in snow this winter. I was traveling during the last two Ohio winters and I felt somewhat incomplete without that season. Ask me in two months if I still feel the same way, though. Anyway, we are all here in Toledo, whether we want to be or not. It’s going to be cold and dark, whether we want it to be or not. So embrace Winter and make the most of it.
Winter Solstice marks the return of light; the sun stays with us longer as we continue forward toward Spring. It is common for people to interpret this shift personally, experiencing the natural cycle of rebirth and renewal. It is a time to consciously put the darkness behind you, to release that which is no longer serving you. With that, bring in the light. Set intentions to manifest desired changes in your life for the year ahead.
Naturally, we tend to eat a little bit more and move a little bit less in the winter. Good, old-fashioned hibernation. Embrace this and nurture yourself. There’s something very nostalgic and romantic about curling up by the fire with a book and cup of tea, looking outside at the fresh fallen snow. We work so hard all year at a seemingly rapid pace; we deserve to slow down and take time to renew our energy.
At some point this Winter, Cabin Fever may come knocking at your door, begging you to get outside. Embrace this too. Put on your long johns, wool socks, hat, gloves, Carhartt coveralls if needed — the works — and head outside with a thermos of something hot to drink. There is so much to do outside in Northwest Ohio, no matter the season. Ottawa Park is awesome enough to have an outdoor ice rink; admission is $4 and skate rentals are $2. For a less-urban ice skating experience and if you have your own skates, visit Oak Openings Nature Preserve or Mary Jane Thurston State Park. Our Metroparks have beautiful trails for cross country skiing, hiking and nature walks. Go sledding. Birding. Ice fishing. Build a snow man. Have a snowball fight. Visit the river and Lake Erie. Feast your eyes on winter hues on land and in the sky.
I recommend, the next time snow falls from the sky and graces the earth, to take a walk that night after most people have gone to sleep and traffic has stopped. The fallen snow creates brightness to the pure, crisp winter sky and stillness and quiet that is a rare treat in the city. You may not want to go back inside.
A couple phrases are coming to mind. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” You can’t change the temperature in Toledo, but you can change the location of your body if that’s what you want. Or you can change your perspective. Winter does not have to be a dreadful time of year. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” That is so true for winter. Winter can be a very magical time, and I hope it is for you.