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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in winter

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Curse the Winter Whining

In Wisconsin, we’ve turned cold, had a snow storm (or several) and had our first real slow down for the winter.  I’ve heard nothing but complaints about how we haven’t had cold weather like this since the 1800s.  I work with several people who are from the south and they are questioning why they moved to Wisconsin. 

It is easy to get wrapped up in the complaining and the whining about how bad it is.  With arthritis in every joint in my body, the cold is hard to deal with as it makes me ache.  The slippery sidewalks and roads can be treacherous.  It isn’t fun to drive down the road following someone who can’t drive in the snow or worse to skid around the road rather than driving down it.

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Winter's Beauty - in the cold and wet...

Winter in Britain – it’s dark and it’s wet.  Not very cold, compared to what I grew up with in Canada, but the damp just seaps into your bones.  It’s a different kind of winter, one that I still sometimes have trouble getting to grips with.

The darkness is the first thing that my body has difficulty coping with.  If it’s dark outside, my body wants to sleep. I’m very much a daytime person.  Here in the UK, at a latitude of  52.0594° N (where I grew up it was 45.9500° N) it gets dark a lot earlier than what I’m used to, and it’s not light outside much before 8.30 or 9am in the darkest part of the year.  Hibernation mode kicks in.  I struggle to get out of bed even though I’ve had a great sleep if it’s still dim out. Come summer, and it’s light at 3.30am, I can get out and greet the sunrise no problem.

The darkness has a real thick, heavy quality to it sometimes, with overcast skies and damp air all around you, sounds hushed in the shadows.  Like a blanket, it can completely cover you and, if you like your head above the covers, can seem stifling.  I’ve had to learn to work with the darkness, to enjoy it, to see its beauty.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is so evocative, Joanna. I lived in Stratford, Ontario for 3 years - which is in THE SNOW BELT. We dearly want to go to Glast
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Hi Ted! It's a different kind of cold, for sure - very different from growing up in Canada, with -20 to -30 C. Visit Glastonbury

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Tale of Two Seasons

Rating: PI (Contains Politically Incorrect Language)

There's a whole genre of Minnesota jokes that begin: “Minnesota has two seasons: Winter and....” Winter and Road Repair. Winter and Winter-is-Coming. Occasionally there are variations: “...two seasons: Shovel and Swat.” Whatever one calls its partner, though, Winter is the central fact of existence here in Lake Country. Spring and Fall aren't really seasons in the North; they're occasional delightful visitors, all the more beloved for their poignantly brief stay. Our year really is a bi-seasonal one.

This would have been utterly familiar to the ancestors. The ancient Germanic speakers knew a two-season, Winter-Summer year: etymologically, the “windy” and “sunny” seasons respectively. The great holidays of Proto-Germanic culture were apparently Midwinter and Midsummer, associated even then—between 3000 and 4000 years ago—with the winter and summer sunsteads (solstices). We know that this goes back to the time before the Germanic languages branched off from one another because the terms are preserved in all surviving daughter languages.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    It's always irritated me when I hear, "Today is the first day of Summer" on Midsummer.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Love the quote.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Hmm, I've wondered about that myself. Ah well, more research to do. My friend Volkhvy always says, "There's no rest for the Wicca.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Good rant. Every year our media insists that Midwinter Night is "The beginning of winter." That is completely wrong as anyone w

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Winter is starting here in Wellington New Zealand, and has been heralded by a weeklong southerly storm. The Cailleach, she is not far away and can be felt in this the first of the winter storms.  Offerings are already being made by unsuspecting people who were silly enough to bring umbrellas as protection against the strong southerly winds.

 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mistress Polly, Thanks for sharing! You have a great sense of place, informed by an awareness of the Gods and spirits.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

When February has been Harsh

It's just one foot in front of the other. 
It's just one moment, 
then another, then another-
Till the footfalls mark a footpath
and the breathing is a testament.

~Amoret

It's funny how time flies and yet remains standing still. I blink, and we are in the middle of February. I blink again, and the world outside is still covered in ice and deep, deep snow. 

The winter, thus far, has been educational. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Winter Cold and Flu Care, Naturally!

Temperatures are plummeting and winter has set in as I write. A flock of wild turkeys has stopped by on their daily morning forage under the bird feeders and a freezing rain has everyone wishing they were inside, safe from the bone-chilling winds. This is the time to have plenty of winter remedies on hand, to ward off flu and chill.


Caution: if you are on any medications please look online for “herb and drug interactions” or “herb and drug contraindications” before you ingest these plants!
 
Fire Cider
A friend passed this recipe along to me and he swears he hasn’t had a cold in four years. Take a few tablespoons of this remedy at the first sign of a cold;

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
An Imbolc Idea

This winter has been a harsh one thus far, to say the least. Rather than resist it, the best tactic for coping might in fact be facing it head on. Provided that February 2 does not fall into dangerous windchill temps in your neck of the woods, I recommend a meditation by skiing. Cross-country, that is. I will never forget the Saturday afternoon back in high school that I cross-country skied to my best friend's house across a barren cornfield. The weather conditions were ideal. The sun was out and making the snow on the ground glisten. It was warm enough that I could eventually unbutton my long overcoat. I was listening to Pink Floyd's, "Dark Side of the Moon," on my walkman. If that dates me, I don't care. The experience was paradisiacal. 

 

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