2016 – A Time for Renewal

January makes me hopeful. There, I said it. Hope fills me during this often bleak, generally brutal, time of year for us. Let me explain.


The holidays are over. New Year champagne has been toasted, the bottles recycled. The deep cold of winter for those of us in the north has set in with biting temperatures, whipping winds, and long star-filled nights.



The nights can be glorious when they’re clear. The stars shine brighter, reflecting off snow made smooth with thin layers of ice that act like mirrors for star light.

As a child, I had more enthusiasm for snow days. Days when school was closed due to too many feet of snow or temperatures too cold to travel in safely. The first snow day still makes me smile. By the fourth, I’m over it.


By February, it’s no joke that, if it hits 20 degrees outside, Wisconsinites will be out en-masse: walking, snowmobiling, throwing frisbees while dressed in shorts (not me), or just playing because the weather allows for it.


Growing up in a place where the cycles of the year are clear, distinct, and vibrant impacts how I see this time of year. It’s easy to see rest and renewal when you’re surrounded by it. There’s a certain rhythm that just becomes a part of your psyche.


January is cold and dark here. The animals that can sleep through it do. Those that migrate are long since gone. This is the perfect time to look inside and contemplate what is to come.


I spend January winding down from Christmas, New Year’s, and Robert Burns celebrations. Robert Burns is the national poet of Scotland and his birthday is celebrated worldwide at the end of January. This year on this coming weekend. To the haggis!


I am thankful for being raised a Wisconsinite. It’s easy to live in concert with the seasons when they and their elemental rhythms are so in your face.

In this time of transition, as we shut the door on what was, and plan for what we want our year to be, I am hopeful that what is – the here and now – will be celebrated as well. The year gets away from us when we’re always looking one season ahead. Yes, we need to plan, but we also need to enjoy today.


Enjoy the snow if you have some, the longer eveningsย  if you’re in the northern hemisphere, and the longer days if you’re down under. Play with enthusiasm when your working day is done. If you get a chance, don your shorts and play frisbee in the snow – it’s a hoot!

Blessings of the season to you all,


27 thoughts on “2016 – A Time for Renewal

  1. I, too, am hopeful and looking forward to the year ahead with all the new exciting projects on my plate.
    And when do we get a recipe for haggis? That looks yummy!
    BTW, the cold we get here is usually different from the cold that you get there. I think it might have to do with humidity. Fortunately the cold we get here is short-lived. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Here in Northern California it is hard to discern the seasons. It seems like we have two; hot and dry and wet and cold. This year we have El Nino to add to the wet and cold but we need the rain desperately so I can’t complain, although I probably will by March. LOL

    Liked by 5 people

    • There is something wonderful to be said for weather you can count on, but I love the seasons.

      Even without the great disparity in temperature we have in Wisconsin, we all deal with the change in light. When night dominates, so does contemplation, planning and taking a deep breath and relaxing a bit. When light dominates, it’s time to get out and get busy. I have to say, I LOVE the increasing light.

      I won’t live in Wisconsin year round forever. The bitterness of January is best experienced elsewhere ~ like a beach! A warm, sun-drenched, lovely beach ^_^.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I love watching the snow fall from a warm room, with a cup of tea and a cozy blanket. Actually, as I write this, I can see that it has begun to snow here, and all I can think is that I’m thankful for those in my life that I can share warmth with. The warmth of a comfortable space. The warmth of our hearts that circulate love into each other. The warmth of the words and stories that are shared this time of year. And the warmth of knowing they will always be there, no matter how the seasons change or what changes life may bring. I look forward to seizing opportunities in this next year to let those I love know how much I love them and how much they matter to me. I look forward to seizing every opportunity possible to grow as a person and in my relationships. To the new year, however cold it may have begun! Wonderful post Leigh ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 5 people

    • I love the fact that you reference this time of year as the time for Storytelling, Hope. It certainly is that! The holidays are filled with stories of holidays gone-by and hopefully are filled with moments that will become future stories. Having a comfortable place to curl up in and share with those you love is perfect for this time when the year is young and filled with the promise of wonderful things and wonderful time to come. Happy New Year, Hope! May 2016 bring every wonderful thing and experience your way. Stay warm. Enjoy the snow and cuddling with tea and a blanket. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve lived in Southern California where cold is a chilly 60 degrees for more than half of my life now, but I still often miss the long dark Washington winter days. My husband, who is California born and raised, can’t understand it, but then he’s not a reader.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Kristy, 60 degrees is so lovely for most outdoor activities, that to mark that as ‘cold’ seems hugely optimistic to me in most months leading up to summer, including early June. I understand missing the days of winter in Washington where night and chill come early, from the times I’ve visited. You know about the wide open spaces and the glorious star-lit nights. That’s enoughโ€ฆdon’t you think? Seeing it and living it even for a little while lets the magic seep into your soul.

      Even so, I’m looking forward to spending the bleakest of Wisconsin winters somewhere tropical ~ like Scotland. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Here, winter means family ski trips. And since I hung up my skis many years ago, I get to hang out in a beautiful chalet where deer romp in the backyard and write while the fam is gone for several glorious hours. Then, at dusk, they return and we share a warm, cozy evening together.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hello, Gina! Happy New Year. Having time with my family ~ especially when it’s too cold to do much other than snuggle and watch movies we all know the lines to, or play games that we are all too competitive for ~ makes this weather imposed wonderfulness a true gift.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I care little for cold weather so the winters in Texas are my cup of tea–or Irish coffee which I like in cold weather. We’re getting a lot of El Nino effects so that’s given us a lot more cold, windy, wet weather than usual. But no snow. Thank goodness. In 2013, we actually had 3 snows. Looked pretty on the sago palm fronds but froze the flowers blooming in the yard.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, Joan, I hate to think of your flowers freezing after they bloom. It’s so funny to me, in a warm and wonderful way, that you can literally count the times it snows–if it snows–in numbers that don’t use all the fingers of one hand.

      I like Irish coffee as well ~ we usually have it by the fire curled up with a good movie. I hope your Texas weather normalizes and you have no more frozen flowers. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    • When I was a kid, my dad would give me warm buckets of water to take to a the flat area of the yard and spread on the snow so that I could ice skate. I so want to do it with the hose and sprinkler. Dad always said no because there was too much chance that the water would freeze in the hose and ruin his big hose before it would make it all the way out to the spot in the back yard.

      We didn’t count snowfalls – we counted inches. We’d get eight more inches on top of the sixteen that were out there! Yes, it’s beautiful, but after a day or two it’s no longer pristine and pretty. So you hoped it would melt or that you’d get another snowfall. And roads that were four lanes became two lanes because there was too much snow and no place left to push it. Furthermore no one knew where the edges of the road were. Just turn between those two trees because the driveway is someplace between them. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • Eight inches on top of sixteen already on the groundโ€ฆwow, E., that’s way over the limit for me! Nice memories though, making an ice skating area with warm water.


  7. With January comes pulling old financial files and adding current year folders. I’m late doing that this year. Normally December is the month to move the files, but last year flew by, so now it’s catch up time. Georgia’s mountain area was hit with lots of snow yesterday and will be plummeted yet again. Tomorrow evening, we’re expecting to be bombarded and throughout the night with rain, ice and snow. My cabinets and freezer are stocked. Candles, Sterno cooking fuel and most anything else we, or neighbors, might need is within easy reach. The snow we’re expecting reminds me of being in Tennessee, with my brother John, making snow angels. That’s a special memory I’ll always carry with me. Kids know how to enjoy the snow, while the hard part is left to the adults! Most of them anyway. We’ll get through, the East coast won’t be as lucky.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hope your weather didn’t cause too many issues for you and your family, Carol. It’s still bloom’n cold here–single digits all weekend with snow coming for the week ahead. I am looking forward to Spring blooms even more this year than last and it’s been a relatively mild winter comparatively. Don’t envy the whole financial folder organization—we still have plenty to do on that front! Making snow angles is always wonderful though ๐Ÿ™‚


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