Winter 2022

I confess. January may be one of my favorite months. Although I am not a cold weather aficionado, I cherish January in Vermont. January wraps its calm and quiet around me like a warm blanket. After the hustle, noise, commotion and demands of November and December, January asks little but to cocoon. This particular January, the cold’s bite is relentless. It commands, “Don’t touch the metal doorknob with wet fingers.” I know. My wet-from-dishes fingers stuck to the garage door required a yank which left the tips tingling and red. This January defines cold. Still, despite the hovering of COVID, I can feel content.

Image by Jörg Vieli from PixabayOur children and grandchildren have returned to their respective homes and settled into their daily lives after the routine-disturbing excitement of Christmas. Little Olivia and Sebastian can run outside in the 70-degree Qatari sun. Afternoons of Candyland and Hokey Pokey dancing have ended, leaving me with a heart full of love. Charley is running on the beach in San Diego while Robby and baby Paige play with their new train set in their cozy New Hampshire home.

Today we trekked to Sugarbush to take advantage of our Boomer passes and the full sunshine and powdery snow. Even though I’ll never be good enough to “ski with the boys” (thanks friend, Beth), I admit that I loved the cold on my face, the slide down the mountain and the tingle of muscles coming to life. Yes, January offers the chance to ski…to celebrate being alive.

January liberates me from the tyranny of the garden with its demands for planting, weeding, deadheading. I can curl my feet under my legs on my couch, warm by the wood stove, and settle in to The Lincoln Highway. If I’m feeling particularly ambitious, there are bulging closets begging for a clean-out, but these extra-bitter days force me close to the fire.

Instead of preparing three meals a day for nine people, Rick and I settle for a bowl of homemade chicken soup for dinner. We sip our coffee while reading the latest New York Times on our computers each morning and begin our daily commiseration over crises near and far.

Brightening each morning, an email pops from the Network for Grateful Living. Today I absorbed my gratefulness message with a smile.

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand—and melting like a snowflake.” – Sir Francis Bacon

Mostly, in January—this particular January of 2022—what I want to do is simply breathe in the quiet and feel grateful for the peace that January in Vermont offers.