I wish I had some brighter, lighter pictures today! I feel as if I've only been posting wintery photos of Narnia.. But, truth is, this winter has been a very long and dark one.. and it's kinda felt like Narnia. I've been hesitant to post at all, because it is just another snowy photo after another!
Even though it's the same old snow, we've had some grand adventures in it.. making the "making it through" part quite real!
We are on the dark side of the mountain. (Not a good choice for someone who battles seasonal depression.) In the winter, the sun skims the horizon and gets to the top of the peak in this picture around noon, and the disappears behind it, coming out to say hello and good bye at sunset.
Some days it snowed so hard and for so long we didn't see sunshine for days! (Those were hard days.) The temperature was below zero for several days straight. There were some days the house just wouldn't heat above 62. Some days we had more logs than starter, or more starter than logs! And some days the wood was simply too wet to burn.
But, about a week ago, it actually felt a little bit like spring! The birds were chirping, things were dripping and ice was melting. Sterling and I were in "spring prep" mode.. with the hopes that if our focus was on preparing for spring, it would come faster.
Our plan was the shovel out some snow, try to remove some ice dams from the roof, clean the mud room, and even hang the bird feeders. It was one of the first weekends fire wood hasn't been a top priority!
But, Winter had other plans for us. Just a day later the temperature dropped, it began to snow and the "winter weather advisory" notifications came back.
As if in full rebellion, our Cabin had something to say about this.. The crown of icicles and sheets of ice that adorned the roof were gone in one terrifying instant.
In one full sweep, the 8-10 inch thick ice sheets came crashing down. It sounded like a train had hit the house.
The best thing is, just hours before it all fell, I was standing under the icicles telling Sterling, "Yep... these are coming down today.. annnnd I should probably move."
(Now we have some extra Spring chores because the ice smashed through the deck.)
We still have some ice sheets on the other side of the roof, just above the entry to the cabin.. So we've been extra cautious.
During our spring prep day, we even had a project of stuffing rock salt into panty hose and throwing them on the roof to break up the ice dams. It was just as hilarious as it sounds... but it's worked well at stopping one giant lethal sheet from falling!
A major part of this Winter has been remembering my favorite lesson.. that sometimes you just have to create your own sunshine.
There were a few dark days where going to bed was depressing... knowing we would wake up to another dark day of cold feet and no sun.
But, I have made it a habit to start (and end) my day with gratitude.. because I know that where focus goes energy flows.. and the more things I am grateful for, the more reasons I will find to be grateful. Even if it's snowing outside.
Grateful that each day brings a minute more of sunshine and warmth.
A thank you to each stick and log of wood that warms my house, and a thank you for the spark of the lighter that begins the fire.
Grateful for a warm cozy cabin and heated blankets that provide extra comfort.
Thankful for the sheer beauty winter brings..
A deep gratitude for the silence of the fallen snow. And a joyous thank you when a bird sings.
And pretty soon, with enough "thank you's in the morning" there is warm sunshine in my heart that lasts me the whole day no matter the temperature.
This mindset has also been incredibly inspirational. It's a lot easier to paint coming from a space of gratitude and hope than it is coming from a sluggish depression!
I'll be sharing my newest work this Monday.. and the poetry and words behind each painting. I'm really trying to get better at this blogging thing again... and the idea of sharing poetry is quite scary.. but then again, so is showing art.
But then I stumble on a quote like this one that reminds me I can't even help it. It's just part of being an artist.. the need to create, write, and expose. Even if no one is listening. And even if it might hurt.