It’s been a long cold week, folks.
Of course, that’s to be expected, here in Wisconsin. It happens every year.
But this was a particularly brutal stretch. Temperatures hovered around -20 for a couple of days. The school was closed most of the week, due to heavy snow and dangerous wind chills.
We did what smart mammals do under the circumstances. We hunkered down.
This scenario is a challenge for mothers at home with young children. We shift into survival mode. We draw upon our reserves of strong coffee.
Cabin fever is a real thing. And it’s no joke when 3 out of 5 people in the house are under the age of eight.
But we’re getting by.
There’s a certain type of nostalgia that hits me this time of year when the snow is deep.
My mother found a lot of satisfaction in keeping our home. She made it a warm place, no matter the weather.
I remembering hovering by the woodstove as I hastily dressed for school. And I remember coming in again, after playing outside past dark, to the smell of soup.
I have a home of my own now. And with time, I’ve become well acquainted with the challenges and trials of home life.
I can own them. They don’t surprise me as much as they used to.
And on long, bitterly cold winter days, I’ve learned how to make warmth.
How to see light.
I can even hygge.
Because really, what choice do we have?
There are gifts to be found in the darkness and cold. We can embrace this period of rest and quiet. Because it’s only a season, after all.
We can make soup. Which happens to be my very most favorite food group. But I absolutely cannot allow during any weather that is not cold. (My current favorite: tomato.)
We can snuggle on the couch with our dearest others and binge-watch Bones. Because throw blankets. Because snuggling. Because love.
We can let the paper scraps and crayons and glue sticks overflow the kitchen table onto the floor. Because a bit of sunshine color in the window is just enough to cheer the cold heart.
Home is such a gift, isn’t it?
Why should I resent the opportunity to immerse myself more fully in the sweetest pleasures of home? There is plenty of time to be busy. To go out into the world and be a citizen of our community and to share our gifts with others.
There is plenty of that. But for now, I am home. And that is just right.
(Want to make yourself a sunny window star? It’s actually very simple – anyone can do it. These work best with a specialty paper called kite paper. I bought this. Trust me, it’s worth it. You can find instructions for folding all over online – Google “Waldorf window star”. My favorite source is this one. It’s in German, but easy to follow the visual guides.)