Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~ Dame Edith Sitwell
Autumn is my favorite season of the year — the crisp air, the colorful leaves, the football games and welcome relief from the blazing hot summers. I enjoy the flowers of spring and the activities of summer, but I always look forward to the fall.
My second favorite time of year is probably winter. Granted, I live in a state where the winters are relatively short and mild, though we occasionally see snow and ice. I’ve never wielded a snow shovel, nor seen a blizzard or had to dig out my car just to go to work. But I do love the winters here in Arkansas. The holidays, of course, are my favorite part, but even when they end there are many things I enjoy about winter. I don’t mind the early darkness; that gives me an excuse to don comfy pjs and sit by the fire with a cup of hot tea and a good book or television show. Cold, gray winter days are the best time for escaping into my imagination, writing in favorite sweaters and warm, fuzzy socks, with headphones streaming my eclectic iTunes library into my ears.
I’d so much rather be cool than too hot and I enjoy bundling into scarves and gloves (again, we don’t have to do it that often, so the novelty doesn’t wear off too quickly for me). Steamy, humid summer days make me want to stay indoors with air conditioning and iced tea, but I enjoy being outdoors on pretty winter days. Stripped bare of leaves, the trees don’t block the views of the rolling hillsides and glittering lakes in “the natural state,” as Arkansas bills itself. I love rounding a corner of a leisurely hiking trail to find a wide-open vista or a tucked-away waterfall swollen with recent rainfalls. Pretty winter days actually make it harder than nice summer days for me to work indoors.
Today is one of those days. It’s unseasonably warm this week — 57 degrees as I write this at almost 11 a.m. Washed clean by last night’s rumbly thunderstorms, the sky is a soft blue streaked with pale gray clouds left behind by the rain. The sun flirts through those clouds, here and then hidden. A breeze ruffles the branches of the azalea bushes and nandinas I can see through the patio door my chair faces, inviting me outside to play even though I have pages to write today to stay on target for my next deadline. My camera sits nearby, whispering promises of lovely photos if I’ll just forget those goals and carry it to a local park or walking path. Several noisy cardinal couples are having a party in the winter-scraggly flowerbeds surrounding the patio, the crimson feathers of the males and orange beaks of the females splashing color against the drabness.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day with temperatures in the low 60s, followed by thunderstorms again on Saturday. So I’ll work today while resisting the temptations outside my window, and I might as well work Saturday — but maybe tomorrow I’ll reward myself for my diligence by taking my camera out to play for a few hours.
Whatever your weather today, I hope you find something to celebrate.
Look for PRIVATE PARTNERS on sale in stores in February. You can find details on the Books Available Now page.
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