I Love Winter

There you go. I no longer ski, snowshoe or do any of the winter sports I used to do, mostly due to all the wear and tear my body has taken over a life well enjoyed. I was a goalie in hockey and a catcher in baseball, so my knees, especially, have taken a beating. And I would not have wanted to miss any of it, by the way. Good times and good memories.

Speaking of knees, I had one replaced just a while back, about 3 months ago. I am finally getting my stamina back and the pain is gone from that joint, so I am truly grateful to live in a country that has free health care. I can walk a kilometre with the leg getting a little tired at the end. Of course, there is the almost daily chopping of wood and shovelling of snow. Here is a pic of what is happening here as we roll into a new year:

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, twilight, plant, outdoor and nature

As you can see, the snow has covered all the beds. Raised beds are great up here. They warm up quickly in the spring. I am not sure of this, but I think because the beds freeze into a solid block, a lot of overwintering insects die, and I have less pests. Of course, it could also be the result of living in a “lots of things eat bugs” area or organic gardening techniques. As a mentor once said to me, however, “maybe the answer is a little bit of everything”.

You see, I tend to be an “all or nothing” kind of guy, which has its advantages if I need to get something done quickly, but I can rush about so much that I miss a lot of what is going on around me. That is one reason I love winter. I cannot do anything to my gardens. I have to wait for spring to get my hands in that wonderful dirt.

I am not good at waiting. I realized this fact while my knee was healing. I was in pain for a while. I felt like I needed to rest all the time. Like, more than usual, lol. So I did a lot more reading and reflection than normal. Stuff I would not have done if I had been in perfect form.

And, of course, we live in northern Canada…the real north. So things need to be done. Sarah dug a trail to the smoker so we could have turkey breasts wrapped in a bacon weave. Nothing keeps a man from his bbq right?

I have gone to rehab for my knee, but the best rehab has been walking behind a snow blower, shovelling snow, and chopping wood, in addition to the daily walks I (usually) do. And nature has a rehabilitating effect of her own, with wildlife and beauty in abundance.

I am enjoying this season of rest. Nature is doing plenty, but a lot of it is out of sight, under the snow. In the meantime, I have the time and opportunity to plan my gardens, order seeds and anticipate the future. I know for certain that spring is coming, even if it seems a long way off right now. I know. It is how things happen. Always.

I do not know your situation, but things have gotten tough all over. We are currently in a two week lockdown in Ontario due to Covid. The virus has changed how we do things. Please do not bother commenting on whether or not it is “real” or not, or your latest rant about conspiracy in high places. You can’t fix stupid, so let’s just agree to disagree.

My point is this: winter can be a time for reflection, growth and planning for the future. Winter is not death. Winter is not permanent. SPRING WILL COME! So recognize the challenges of winter, but make sure to acknowledge that spring will come, and let that certainty help you through the rougher patches.

I am going to try to record more of what I am doing to plan for the gardens so you can use some of the tools and techniques I have found to be helpful. Winter is here, but spring is coming, so dare to look forward.

Keep safe, folks.

St. John of the Asylum

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