On Winter, Recovery, and Preparation

This week, I spent a day in the company of a magnificent barred owl. Perched outside my office window for much of an afternoon, it was a reminder of the Magic we sometimes miss as we go about our fast, frenetic lives.

If you’re like me, you’re looking at DECEMBER on your calendar and realizing just how busy busy you’ve been this year. December? How did that happen?

Well, the good news is that Winter fast approaches, with December 21 marking the first day of this often-maligned season. Yes, I said “good news.” I realize that a lot of folks are not thrilled with the impending cold weather, the threat of snow, the darkness. But I am of the same mind as travel writer Paul Theroux, who describes Winter as “a season of recovery and preparation.”

Recovery from the weight of the past 12 months — its success and failures; its triumphs and losses. Winter is a chance to take stock of what we must put down, what we will save as memory, what we choose to carry forward.

Choose to carry forward into the life that lies ahead. 2019 – How did that happen?

A time for Preparation, indeed!

While one cannot prepare for Magic (or Disappointment)…it is possible to set down good Intentions for the coming months. Call them Resolutions, if you will, or simply Affirmations. Good and positive thoughts for the year to come. What are yours — do you know yet?

For my part, I am making room, clearing space for that “what comes next.” It is both a literal process — organizing piles, taking filled boxes to the thrift shop, making lists — and metaphoric in that I am likewise clearing the clutter in my headspace to allow for something new to show up.

Is it Magic then, or coincidence, that Owl is the harbinger of change? Of Owl, Elena Harris at Spirit Animal writes: “When the owl shows up in your life, pay attention to the winds of change. Perhaps you are about to leave some old habits, a situation that no longer serves you, or maybe bring something new in your life.”

So, what old habits will you leave at the feet of 2018? What doors will you close? What new ideas, challenges, or adventures will you welcome?

Wherever your journey leads, and whatever you find along the way, please go easy and take good care of yourself. Enjoy the blessings of this season meant for recovering slowness and preparing for the possibility of Magic ahead!

With Love,

Jen Payne

4 thoughts on “On Winter, Recovery, and Preparation

  1. Thought-provoking. Like you, I am decluttering and moving things around both in the house and mentally. I have not spent a penny on my frantic redecorating, but am re-thinking the placement/use of everything. It has been fun, but exhausting.


      1. I’ve got it started. Right in the middle of taking everything out and looking it over. Now the challenge is to finish the chore and put everything I am keeping away! I am finding myself donating and putting nice items out in my Little Free Library in the yard. Today a pink Valentine’s monkey found a new forever home!


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