At this time of year, just like at other times of the year, I’m feeling inspired by nature…
But, in the middle of winter here in the UK, it’s not that the fields and hedgerows are overflowing with beautiful flowers and interesting leaves for me to draw …. they’re really not!
It’s the emptiness of nature in winter that’s giving me pause for thought…
In the fields, the crops have been cut down, leaving just flat fields of stubble or bare earth. The trees are just skeletons, having shed their leaves. And the usual greenery in the hedgerows is flattened, bedraggled and in the process of rotting down.
Nature enjoys this pause, and it’s there for a reason – nature takes a break. She has a rest.
Animals that have worked hard all year, gathering food for themselves and their families, stop or slow down. They enjoy the bounty of their year’s work, and restore and conserve energy for the year to come.
In woodlands, gardens, fields and hedgerows, vegetation decomposes. It becomes a shelter for the tender shoots of new growth, and provides essential nutrients for future crops, plants and trees.
We, too, can take a little time in these dark winter days to restore energy, take stock of the previous year, and plan and ready ourselves for the coming year with the shoots of new ideas, hopes and inspirations.
In the very flat area of Yorkshire where I live, we always enjoy the ‘big skies’, but in winter with no leaves on the trees, and empty fields, these are particularly noticeable.
The big skies are one of the reasons I love living here. The emptiness of these big skies can be utterly beautiful in winter – and give us the feeling of space, room to breathe, time to take stock, and the opportunity to grow in any direction we choose.
The middle of winter is a great time to enjoy a break from the usual busy daily routine. Take advantage of the white space around you - let the quiet time nurture you, relax, breathe and decide where to grow.
That’s why, this winter, aside from the excitement of the festive season, and meet-ups with loved-ones, I’ll just be taking some time just to enjoy the pause, take stock, think, and plan for the year ahead.
Please let me know in the comments below if you enjoy taking some quiet time for yourself over the holiday season. Do you spend some time nurturing your hopes and dreams for the coming year?