(with a soundtrack for your Solstice)
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” according to the familiar song. While I would argue that every season is full of its own wonders, I do find this time of year pretty magical. There are so many memories and cherished traditions, delicious treats, the joy of giving and, for those of us in the north country, the beauty of winter.
As a snow lover, a White Christmas is always on my wish list. This year, several early season snowstorms have guaranteed that we’ll have one!
The approach of the Winter Solstice has me happily nestled in. Cozy socks, white lights on the mantle, a warm, fuzzy blanket, and my favorite candle (scented with essential oils of Frankincense, Myrhh & Palo Santo; it’s called Peace). I start each day in the dark of early morning, soaking up the quiet and candlelight over a fresh, hot cup of coffee.
I’ve embraced the Danish concept of hygge to fully cultivate these simple pleasures in my life and find ways to create ease and joy in what can be a harsh and, sometimes, challenging season. (*Note: the spirit of hygge, defined as: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being, can be enjoyed year-round, although it’s particularly well-suited to a cold, dark winter).
When nights are long and dark and days are short and cold, what better way to thrive and enjoy daily life than to cultivate connection, simplicity and warmth – not only in one’s home, but also in our hearts? I don’t need to be “doing” anything to fully enjoy being with the people I love. Ideally? With all four of us (plus Rocco) snuggled up in front of the fire like a pile of puppies in a nest of fleece and wool.
Despite this ode to all things cozy, you’ll notice that the photographs in this post have nothing to do with hibernating indoors. That’s because my other favorite thing about the season is a good winter walk with my camera in tow! A fresh blanket of white snow creates the perfect blank canvas, casting each leaf and stem into a starring role in its own work of art. And the subtle color palette – an infinite spectrum of gray, brown and white – is richly soothing in the thin winter light. Truly a winter wonderland.
I hope that you find wonder in this and every season. My gift to you: a playlist that celebrates the many moods of winter. From my north-country home in Minneapolis to yours, wherever you may be.
CHILL (05: December 2019)
A Hazy Shade of Winter| Simon & Garfunkel
Northern Lights | Communist Daughter (*Mpls Band)
Winter | Tori Amos
White Winter Hymnal | Fleet Foxes
River | Joni Mitchell
December Song | Birdtalker/Joy Williams
The Fox in the Snow | Belle & Sebastian
Wintertime Love | The Doors
Flowers In December | Mazzy Star
Shelter from the Storm | Bob Dylan
Like the Weather | 10,000 Maniacs
Cold Weather Blues | Muddy Waters
Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow | Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Snow (Hey Oh) | Red Hot Chili Peppers
Play on SPOTIFY here.