“That’s what winter is: an exercise in remembering how to still yourself then how to come pliantly back to life again.” ― Ali Smith, Winter
Winter’s story Winter is not something to be feared but admired for its still, still beauty. Because it’s where a world appears to hold its breath and sigh, carpeted as it is with deeply frozen potential teeming beneath darkened soil. Wet grasslands are rimed with frost, liquid drips from hedges and trees as if to say, “Look, look, don't you see?” Yet so often we turn our cold, cold faces to the wind, huddle into woolly scarves, stamp our fretful, impatient feet, like we can’t wait for spring or to get away. But then we might miss the invisible invitation hidden in mist, concealed in muffled greyness, skies laden with snow, perhaps, or in petrified puddles now become miniature skating rinks we risk our limbs on as we walk. We’re so dismissive of pared back trees losing their verdancy that we fail to grasp just how majestic, how starkly splendid they really are. A life isn’t only glorious in springtime or abundantly beautiful in summer, because our autumnal days and whitening wintry glaze all have their own story to tell, etched into each season, their own magic to whisper into our receptive souls if we decide to notice it. © joylenton
“It seems like everything sleeps in winter, but it’s really a time of renewal and reflection.” ― Elizabeth Camden, Until the Dawn
NOTE: If you need a bit of help to see the beauty of winter or fail to appreciate the invitation to soul stillness it provides, maybe the free pdf excerpt from my book ‘Embracing Hope’ will help to gently steer your thoughts in that direction. *Just click on the cover below to download it.* And if you would like to read more, then you’ll be pleased to know that the ‘Embracing Hope’ e-book is on special offer up to January 18th! xo 🙂 ❤
24 thoughts on “winter: being receptive to its beauty and story”
A beautiful reminder, Joy!
Thank you, Michael! You certainly enjoyed winter’s stunning beauty where you used to live. The photographs you shared were amazing, especially of your wildlife neighbours. 😊🦌❤️
Indeed, and I miss them so
I’m sure you do, Michael. They were unique neighbours to have, and was such a beautiful area for you to explore. Though I expect you’re discovering fresh beauty and new delights where you live now. May God open your heart and mind to appreciate them. 😊❤️
What a beautiful poem expressing His rhythm in winter. Thank you so much, Joy. I am sorry I have been out of touch. I am still here. Love, Julie
Hello Julie, it’s a joy to see you whenever you can make it. I’ve actually been missing from my blogs for several weeks. This is my first post here since before Christmas. I’ve been busy with a new creative project which has left me with little energy to do much else. I’m so glad you were blessed by the poem. And I’m really happy you stopped by today. Blessings and love! xo 💜
Oh Joy thank you for letting me know. And I feel the same, a joy to connect with you anytime✝️🙏❤my life has become more full, taking classes and need to finish that book!
Julie, with all that’s going on, coupled with family responsibilities and ongoing concerns, you’re doing really well to blog at all right now. I empathise with you needing to finish your book. My latest self-published one isn’t quite complete as a paperback version yet. They can consume an enormous amount of time, attention and effort. Prayers for your book completion will be added. Love and hugs. xo 😊💟
Thank you so much for those prayers. I definitely miss writing if I go too long … the book requires much of my heart to be present. I will keep you posted dear Joy.
Oh, me, too, Julie. If it wasn’t a necessity for my health, I wouldn’t take such long breaks. You’re welcome to my prayers. Yes, please keep me posted on your progress. Xx 💜
“etched into each season” I love the image of God that this line awakens in me. It is just like Him to leave hidden messages of His magic throughout His creation. It is only when we pay attention that we see these wondrous things! Thank you for the generous offering of your book excerpt! Please remind me where I can purchase the complete work? May God hold you close today, sweet friend.
Oh, June, I love your description of God leaving “hidden messages of His magic throughout creation.” You’re right, paying attention is the way to notice these things. It feeds our joy as the beauty nurtures our weary souls back to life. I know you’re already a keen observer and lover of nature, as well as a skilled photographer and capturer of many magic moments.
You can buy the ‘Embracing Hope’ book on Amazon. The Kindle version is reduced up to January 18th. May it help you to embrace Hope and open your eyes afresh to the beauty that exists. Thank you for your sweet blessing. I’m in need of a holy hug! Blessings and love. xo ❤️
Thanks! I thought I had saved it to my “list” on Amazon, but when I looked yesterday I couldn’t find it. It’s there now, so I’ve ready to order! Have a blessed day!
Oh, thank you, dear June! I hope and pray it blesses you with renewed hope. 😊💜
“Look, look, don’t you see?” Oh how I love that line, Joy. Just like something my youngest could cry. She’s good for my heart too. Childlike wonder.
So love that photo. Thank you for being God’s warmth to my heart tonight. Sending love from across the pond.
I’m glad you can relate to that line, Anna. It does rather grab the attention, doesn’t it? Young children are experts in noticing what most adults miss, because everything is a source of awe and wonder to them. I’m guessing it’s the photo of my grandson you’re referring to? He is rather cute here, I must admit, but I am a tad biased! Sending God’s warmth and love back to you across the pond, dear friend. xo ❤️
It is that photo. He is adorable. And yes: they are experts, aren’t they?! We can learn so much from them. Love and hugs from afar xxx
Anna, he has a great gift of bringing out the inner child in me. His enthusiasm is quite contagious, as is his sense of fun and zest for life. I might be weak, in pain, and limited in my mobility but my heart leaps whenever I see him online or (more rarely) face to face. Children can be hard work but they’re such a precious gift from God. Love and hugs to you, dear friend! xox 😊❤️
What a blessing to read your words here tonight! These thoughts captured my heart:
“we fail to grasp
just how majestic, how starkly
splendid they really are.”
Starkly splendid … oh yes! I find myself just staring out the windows here so often lately, and your words describe perfectly how the trees look in our tiny little wooded lot. Oh, may I let the Lord open my eyes to see the beauty in this winter season of my own life too. He has His gifts to share right here. Thank you dear friend for giving us glimpses into His heart for us. Blessings and love for you! xoxo
Dear Bettie, it’s a great blessing for me to have energy and inspiration enough to return to this space after my blogging break. And a joy to meet up again with my wonderful readers and friends! I can picture you staring out the window with your soul hungry for creation’s soothing sights. How lovely that you live close to a wooded lot so you can watch the changing seasons unfold!
Thank you for considering the reference to our own wintry seasons of life, and acknowledging how it helps to maintain a positive mindset. I believe our ache for beauty and our need for reassurance are prayers God willingly answers. May you find more and more beauty in these slowed down days, and in your call to greater stillness. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo 💟
Dear Joy, thank you. So compassionate, a little wry, and deeply invitational. These lines especially shift my outlook today:
“We’re so dismissive
of pared back trees losing
that we fail to grasp
just how majestic, how starkly
splendid they really are.
… their own story to tell,
etched … magic …”
Dear Laurie, thank you for being here and sharing the lines that resonated with you. I’m glad you like the poem. May the magic of winter continue to enthral your heart through the hard and dark. Blessings and hugs. xo ❤️
I love this Joy – your poem captures winter so perfectly – and the smiling child’s face such delight! I think one of the reason’s I love photography is because it helps me see the beauty God places in each season. One of the most interesting things I ever read about winter is how one of the calendars – before the world decided to use the one we have now – just stopped after Autumn – no name, no season, no counting – and then it started up again in the Spring. When I read about that calendar – it made me feel so sorry for those who didn’t have days, dates – a name. It must have been a very dark time then. So glad God brings the light into our lives in all seasons! Shalom, Joy! ~ Maryleigh
I agree, Maryleigh, who doesn’t like a child’s smiling face? They generally have a greater tolerance for the changing seasons and a natural delight in the joys of winter. Photography is a great way to capture the beauty of every season. How intriguing to think of winter being left out of that calendar you mentioned! How incredibly long it would have seemed to move so slowly from autumn to spring. Now we watch for and anticipate increasing daylight hours to encourage our winter-weary hearts. Praise God for bringing “the light into our lives in all seasons!” That’s such a needful gift, isn’t it? Shalom to you, too, my friend! May you enjoy this season and those yet to come. Blessings. x ❤️