Happy New Year!
I hope it's got off to a peaceful start for you.
To be completely honest, I feel terrible that I dipped out. It's been almost 3 months, and I just haven't been able to face social media.
My mental health hasn't been the problem. Well...not in the typical sense anyway. In fact, we were blessed to have had the most wonderful lead-up to Christmas. We visited Centre Parcs, and light displays, joined in with community events, and soaked in a whole load of festive joy. We were surrounded by friends and family and whilst it was low-key and non-grandiose, it was lovely, and I count my blessings.
But whilst I appreciate nature has to slow to a still as Winter takes hold, I find it long and lonely. Scarce birds, no bees, no butterflies, no hares. No flowers, no growth, swimming in open water, no sunshine, or beachcombing.
I don't mean to sound ungrateful for all that I do have. A roof over our heads, a healthy child, food, and even some luxuries. Most importantly, a life filled with love and connection.
I know I am blessed and I am truly thankful.
With all that being said, the everyday magic I feel on a daily basis, throughout every other season is so scarce and fleeting in winter that I feel like I am just existing. Counting down the days until Spring. It happens every year but the gap between Christmas and the first signs of Spring has felt very long and drawn out this year.
I speak to my Granny every Tuesday afternoon. She struggles in the same way that I do throughout the winter and she doesn't like the cold. So much so that she hasn't had much enthusiasm to leave her house. For the last four weeks or so there have been little signs of Spring creeping in. I tell her that the Snowdrops, daffodils, and crocuses are in bloom, the first bumblebee queens are out of hibernation and the hares are becoming more active in the daytime. Two out of three of our sweet hens are laying again too. With each weekly phone call, there are more signs of Spring to note. A few tiny flutters of light break through all the grey.
My eight-year-old son and I went to watch the sunset a couple of nights ago and on the way there we passed a pond and a Kingfisher sat on a wooden fence. Its feathers were lit up like a gem in the evening sun. I was so excited to see him. We walked to the river and did a short mindfulness exercise on the riverbank, soaking in the sunshine. As we climbed up the riverbank we were so lucky to see a barn owl hunting just a stones throw from where we were standing. It was a real turning point moment.
And in turn, with each little bit of Springtime magic, comes a little bit of joy, and inspiration. And in turn, my soul is happy again and I feel like I am waking from hibernation. My energy levels increase. I want to paint and create. And I realise I need to tackle the elephant in the room that is me, dropping off the face of the earth (or at least the social media one).
I also want to say that I am always so incredibly grateful that any of you take the time to read my words and glance at my photos.
If anyone else is struggling with the long winter, just hang in there. The brighter days are so close.
I'm really excited to get back to being more involved here and interacting with you all.