‘Tis the Season to Hibernate? A Book for the Winter Blues

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I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly a fan of winter. So I was more than a little surprised when I read “Wintering” by Katherine May, and it (partially) thawed my icy winter heart! 🌨️  I know some people enthusiastically embrace the frosty season, sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace and all that. I’m more like the Grinch wrapped in a blanket, muttering into his whiskey about the cold. My winter blues are usually the deepest shade of navy. But May’s book changed my perspective on winter, and here’s why you should give it a read, especially if you’re a fellow winter grumbler like me.

Facing the Season of Blah

Wintering book winter blues rest restore january blues

You know that feeling when winter hits, and suddenly, all your energy and motivation seem to have hibernated like bears? Blame it on the short days or the bone-chilling temps, but come January, I’m usually in a deep slump that lasts until spring blossoms. Plus, I’m a card-carrying member of the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) club, so you can imagine the kind of winter blues I wrestle with. But the book “Wintering” isn’t just about my personal winter woes; it’s about how we all experience these fallow periods in life, both literally and metaphorically.

“We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.” 

KAtherine May – Wintering

Katherine May’s “Wintering” is a poignant reminder that slowing down during these cold seasons might just be more than an inconvenience; it could be an essential part of our growth. She beautifully weaves her personal journey through life’s inevitable winters into a narrative that’s as relatable as your grandma’s warm apple pie. From her husband’s illness to her own health struggles and her son’s difficulties, May’s storytelling makes you feel like you’re reading your own diary.

Not Another Self-Help Manual

What sets “Wintering” apart from the usual self-help and motivational books is May’s knack for intertwining her journey with the wonders of nature, literature, and culture. She shows us that these “winter” moments are as common as a Starbucks on every corner. From literature to movies to songs and the rhythms of the natural world, she crafts a tapestry that mirrors the complexities of the human experience.

Beating the winter blues or the January Blues by immersing yourself in nature like the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

May’s exploration of nature during winter is downright enchanting. She takes you to places like Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, where you can soak in geothermal waters while the snowflakes dance around you. It’s like a healing embrace from Mother Nature herself, a reminder that even in the depths of winter, the elements can be transformative. For anyone who’s found solace in the great outdoors, her words will resonate deeply.

A Tale As Old As Time

But what truly elevates “Wintering” is May’s dive into the cultural and literary perspectives on the concept of “wintering.” She delves into John Donne’s “A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day” and Sylvia Plath’s “Wintering,” seamlessly weaving them into her narrative. These literary gems become mirrors reflecting the intricate web of emotions that winter weaves into our lives. May’s ability to connect these literary works with her own experiences illuminates the nuances of the winter season in a way that’s both intellectual and emotionally moving.

Yet, May’s journey doesn’t stop there. She explores various cultural approaches to “wintering,” from Druidic rituals at Stonehenge during the winter solstice to different spiritual beliefs that celebrate the season. Through these portrayals, she reminds us that the “wintering” journey is deeply personal, with no one-size-fits-all guide to navigate its complexities.

In a world that often urges us to brush over low periods like the winter blues and embrace shallow positivity, “Wintering” stands as a beacon of authenticity. May doesn’t offer clichéd solutions or empty optimism. Instead, she invites us to accept sadness as a natural part of the human experience. She champions the idea that “wintering” is a season of growth and transformation – a time when we dive deep into our souls to truly understand ourselves.

Same Season, New Perspective

As we all traverse our own fallow seasons in life, “Wintering” emerges as a comforting presence and a testament to the transformative power of embracing life’s ups and downs. May reminds us that we’re not alone in our struggles and that there’s beauty to be found in the quiet, reflective moments of life.

So when the January Blues hit this year, why not try to embrace the ebb and flow of life’s challenges? Her book is a reminder that wintering is not a sign of weakness but a testament to our resilience and adaptability as human beings. So, grab a warm blanket and a steaming cup of cocoa, and let May’s words be your cozy companion as you navigate your own wintering journey. 📚⛄️

Make It Part of Your Morning

One of the themes May returns to again and again is how nature can help us connect to our more human selves. We’re part of the natural world, too…though our phones might try to convince us otherwise. Try spending five minutes outside tomorrow morning just noticing where nature is in her cycle. Is everything in bloom? Are squirrels stockpiling for winter? Where are you in your cycle? What can you learn from what you’re noticing this morning? Finish with a few deep breaths, and you’ll start your day more connected to the world around you.

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