“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our own standing in our own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
For some reason, the start of January is always the hardest time for me. After the whirlwind craziness of fall and the holidays, I generally feel a huge letdown after it is all over and the cold, dark shadows of a Minnesota winter set in. January is normally our coldest month. Coldness that is meant to endure and toughen us up.
As many Minnesotans hunker down and settle into hibernation mode, I try my best to bundle up and get outside as much as possible. I crave sunlight and the outdoors. When I start getting a bit of the winter blues, I remind myself that it is time to get outside! I find if I put on a pair of long johns, snow pants, and a big, eskimo style coat then I’m all set. The one benefit of living in an arctic place is that generally we are blessed with amazing, brilliant sunshine in the winter. Although the days are short, at least they are almost always bright.
Today, on my walk around the lake as the mercury dipped below zero and the fierce winds chilled my cheeks, I remembered my favorite quote and reflected on the beauty of the shadows wavering off the bare trees. It was spectacular.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow”. – Helen Keller
Helen Keller’s words of wisdom touch deeply within my soul as I crave for sunlight, warmth and color. Despite being blind, Keller was able to see the light in her life. Her words remind me to be positive even with it is cold and dark outside and I am feeling the seasonal sadness that I often get this time of year. If it is an especially bitter and cold day, I remember to reach for the sunshine that is within myself. Just like the seasons, this too shall pass.
As the month rolls on, each day we receive the gift of a few extra minutes of light. Pretty soon I won’t have to put on my sunlamp in the morning or take my vitamin D pill. I will receive all I need from Mother Earth.
“Never fear shadows. They simply mean that there is a light shining somewhere nearby.” – Ruth Renkel
I do love winter yet I also find it hard. It can be very long here in Minnesota, sometimes starting in November and not letting up to April. Thus I try to brighten my life with colors such as a fun pair of boots like below or a vibrant red hat or scarf. I take in a deep breath on the hard days and remember that before I know it, summer will be here and I’ll be hot, sweaty and thinking about winter again.
This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed. To see more entries click here. I am busy working on organizing my photos from my December trip to Bolivia. I will have lots of bright and colorful posts to share so stay tuned!