Pat yourself on the back. You made it half way through the winter of 2021. That alone is reason to do a little happy dance on the middle of your kitchen floor. But there is still lots of winter left so I thought I would check in with you and give you a couple of reasons for hope to see you through until spring, or at least the month of February.
- February is the shortest month of the year. Well duh, but this is such a psychological boost after making it through what seems like the longest month of the year. Okay, January is not the only month with 31 days but come on, didn’t it seem to go on forever.
- The return of light. By now you must have noticed that the days are getting longer once again. Where I live, here on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada, the sky is beginning to lighten by 7:30 am and sundown is just after 5pm. For me, that means that I’m rising to light once again and for those folks who need to go out for work, it is now light out as they make their way home.
- The seed catalogues are out. Time to start planning your spring garden. In my neck of the woods you can even start some seedlings indoors so there is new sprouts and a bit of new life to look forward to.
- The early spring fashions are starting to arrive both in stores and online. Check them out and don’t beat yourself up if you need a bigger size. For right now just enjoy the possibility of lighter colours and fabrics. There is still time to drop the Covid 10 or 15. And while you’re at it, is it time to clear out your closet and rid yourself of the clothes you no longer wear? Nothing lightens your energy better than ridding yourself of clutter.
- February has Valentine’s Day. This year more than ever, reach out and tell someone, anyone, that you love them. Better yet, if they’re not in your social bubble, send them a card or a little treat in the mail. When was the last time you got something that wasn’t a bill or flyer in the mail? Imagine the bright light you could shine on a loved one’s day with this simple gesture. The love will warm your heart as well, just by following through with the surprise.
- On the same vein, remember last year when we all displayed hearts in our windows as a means of solidarity when the pandemic first broke out? Perhaps it’s a good idea again. Let your neighbours know you still care by showing some heart once again.
- Can’t stand the thought of Valentine’s Day? Well how about Chinese New Year instead. February 12th sees the entering of the year of the ox. Cook up a feast or better yet, support a local small business and order in some Chinese take out and celebrate the ox- who symbolizes hard work, positivity and honesty.
- As the days of February go on, start looking for signs of spring. There are, of course, the obvious ones like snowdrops and crocuses but how about bumble bees and birds. Watch your feeders for migrant birds returning. Notice the wee bugs and beasties flitting and squirming about. Sure signs that winter is loosing it’s grip. And let’s not forget about pussy willows. A vase of those fuzzy little buds are sure to brighten up your table.
For many of us, having to self isolate during the darkest days of the year has made them even harder. Schedules have been disrupted and activities that may have distracted you from the doldrums of winter are not available this year. Have faith, you can do this, winter is now half over. Less than 50 days to go, and you know all of them aren’t going to be dark, dreary and cold.
Perhaps the folks who created celebrations for the month of February were on to something. Imbloc, Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, St. Valentine’s Day – all reasons to look forward to something when the heaviness of winter is weighing the human spirit down.
So this month, find the bright spots in life, and if you can’t find them, then make them. Think about how you can add a bit of light into the world. Be a little ray of sunshine for the folks that matter to you. You just might find that the warmth and love that you put out there, radiates right back to you as well.