I am not a fan of winter. I grew up in Pennsylvania. Moved to Maine for almost a decade. Moved to the Colorado Rockies. Then moved back to Pennsylvania. None of these places are know for their tropical weather or warm mild winters. I honestly cannot figure out my decision making process, but I continue to live in cold places. And north central PA can be the worst. Cold, gray, windy…I have found that farming has not helped my seasonal depressive disorder. Spring, summer and fall are all out, full on, no stopping. The winter comes as a relief, a break, but that almost immediately turns into a loss of purpose. An existential crisis. Winter growing is helpful. I love it and continue to try to improve, but it also comes with hauling around hoses and row cover in below freezing conditions. Cutting greens in February is the best, but everything is harder in the winter.
Winter aside, I live in a beautiful place. I am on my family’s farm and it is not in my stars to move to the tropics. Based on experiences in the past few years, I believe that you can change your mindset.
One of the secrets I think to enjoying winter is to treat each and every day like Groundhog Day, a new start…Even if you made it through a cold, blustery grey day, the next day of winter you have to start again, with new eyes, ready to take it on with appreciation and grace. Even if it is just another cold, blustery grey day.
And if for some reason you have a great day, the next day will still be winter and you will have to start from ground zero.
One trick I try to do is to notice the exotic in the valley I grew up in.
Here are a few of the images that stick out from the last few months:
There are actually rainbows in steam rising off of coffee cups in the morning.
The hedgerows of bare trees against the blue mountains.
Ice crystals forming on dried flowers and sparkling against the rising morning fog.
If I were a better blogger I would have images to back up these words. Instead I encourage you to look for your own. Children are helpful. Here is one image I do have of Jesse stubbornly enjoying the snow: