February seems to be the month when we most need a bit of love, at least in this hemisphere. It’s cold and grey, it’s in between holidays so the only bit of celebration is for sports fans when the Superbowl happens. Once that first weekend is over, we’re stuck in the doldrums again. Many of us eschew the sugary sweet version of Valentines’ Day that now exists, refusing to participate in the commercial event that turns romance into a Hallmark movie. But if you are one of these purists looking to survive the dead of winter, how do you manage? I have a suggestion…
How about embracing the silence? Why not just enjoy a bit of quiet beauty? A bit of mediation, perhaps even a few positive thoughts?? Whether this is a solitary activity or one shared with your soul mate, it is one that may get you through the darkness to the other side. Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s darkest before the dawn”? Enlightenment may come from taking time to pause and listen.
I think this reasoning can work with many different pastimes, as well. My exercise plan in February always seems to end up being simple – but that’s better than nothing, right? Long walks with the dogs at twilight are refreshing not just because of the crisp air. We all enjoy clearing the cobwebs from the day, and the silence that comes this time of year around Rabbit Hollow wraps me like a blanket.
This year, with the changing weather, we have had Canada geese circle at dusk every night, heralding the darkness like trumpeters announcing a proclamation.
This week has had us shrouded in fog, with frost thick on the trees. Shades of grey are all that remains, like an old photo that captured a long ago memory. I feel as though time has stopped as I wander the field with my thoughts. It is my time to sort through everything and file it away. Once spring comes, colours and sounds and aromas all compete for my attention and I never seem to get that same quiet time.
I couldn’t live in this year round – it would suck all the energy from me I think, like it sucks the colour out. But for a little while, it’s like time at a monastery or on a mountaintop. You can take stock of things, and then move forward.
Even the food I eat this time of year seems to have clear flavours. We jazz things up with a bit of Cajun spice now and then, and we eat a bit of Asian stir fry and curry – all of them have many ingredients, but the theme is very clear and intense (like the stark nature of the landscape).
Perhaps this comes from living more in the country. For a long time now, we have been away from the hustle and bustle of a big city for our everyday existence. Before the comforts of Rabbit Hollow among the orchards and vineyards and overlooking Okanagan Lake we were in Charlevoix, up the St.Lawrence River. Before that we lived in Banff, along a creek bed and the edge of the Banff Springs golf course, where elk and wolves played. We have been spoiled with the wonders of nature. Simon, our German Shorthaired Pointer, has never lived in a fenced yard. Would it be easier to handle the weirdness of February if we lived somewhere more urban? I would love to hear your opinions.
As for the theme of romance which is supposed to save us from oblivion in the dead of winter?
Well, I believe that romance, like most things, needs sustenance year round to survive. So, how about a chocolate dessert just because it’s Tuesday? How about a sexy outfit on a date night with your sweetheart just because you had a good hair day? (You might as well make the most of it!) Life is short, and it is meant to be enjoyed. Let yourself be swept away in the moment… any moment.
In case you need encouragement, I have posted a recipe for Lemon Pudding Cake. You can be intimate and share from a big dish, or you can let everyone have their own space and make it in ramekins.