Letter to my Winter Body


Dearest Winter Body,

You may have noticed the buds abounding in the garden. Yes. In spite of the chill temperatures and days and days of pounding unrelenting rain, spring is moving forward with its blessed perennial plan. I’m sure you’ve seen the signs. The crocuses next door. The quince in the back of the garden.

The volunteer lettuces, which so graciously reseeded themselves for the second year in a row. Oh, yes. I counted a dozen or so just this week, amidst the sprouting arugula (and a weed or two!).

And no doubt you’ve seen the campanula, which will before long be sending forth their bright blue blossoms!

And underneath one of the patio tables mounds and mounds of California poppies have sprung, this year casting a much wider net than last, happy me.

Out front I spotted an unreasonably brave nasturtium! I do hope it knows something I do not!

And even the lovely camellias are poised to unfurl.

And you know what all this means, don’t you? We have to get to work.

And in this quiet moment on a Sunday afternoon, I want to make a solemn pact with you, that even as the smallest plant is preparing for the inevitable burst of flower, vegetable and fruit and all that that entails, I will take the requisite and corresponding preparatory steps, precautions and measures you so deserve. For I know I have opted to sit too long, walk not quite enough, trek not at all in these grey days of winter. While no doubt I have given you plenty of rest, bathed you often and offered plenty of fresh, healthy food, I am still sure enough that not as much dancing or yoga prevailed as would have been optimal. Not really. A twirl here. A wiggle wiggle there. But not the full out movement that would have prepared you for a life of summer months and all that outdoor life requires. Sadly, no. So here is my prescriptive for now ’till spring.

A healthy measure of music that makes you move! We can begin with a gentle start, say, with Imogen Heap’s “First Train Home.”

Then you have to admit that Leighton Meester and Robin Thicke pair up for an inspiring duo which gets us moving in the right direction!

Aerobic activity is not enough. Gardening is a demanding activity that requires lean strong muscles and those muscles need to be well stretched. My favorite, as you know, is Rodney Yee.

And while gardening is a meditation in itself, the gentle soothing music of Deva Premal prepares us for a day of centered, grounded activity.

We will be ready for all that our garden deserves and demands. We will plant our seeds. We will pull the weeds. We will carry what needs to be recycled. We will rake, yes, we will. We will water and feed. And we will harvest. Indeed. And we will love and be grateful for every single minute. Promise.

Love and winter blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

24 Responses to “Letter to my Winter Body”

  1. Good morning, Kathryn,

    Yesterday I worked in the garden for the first time this season. I especially enjoyed the video you included of Rodney Yee which speaks to that mind body connection. Your post made me feel inspired, centered and energized.

    (and yes, it is so fun to see what is coming up. This promises to be banner year for poppies, and my giant lupine reseeded! )

    The Dawn is just now beginning to illuminate the city.Your words and the accompanying videos was a beautiful way to begin the day.

  2. How can you possibly have things in bloom? Not fair! We are once again under a white winter blanket with another up to 8 inches scheduled for tonight and tomorrow. Central Ohio is not as bad as the east coast, but it’s still under level 1 snow emergencies in the outlying counties still digging out from last Friday and Saturday when it was coming down in big clumps. My “gardening” consists of going out to feed the birds and the squirrels. My body has turned to “couch potato” mush, in great need to activity. Still, as we hibernate, I think of the plants that I never got out of pots last fall being protected under yet another covering of a blanket of white. Hopefully, all the snow this winter will pull them through so that when we finally get out, I won’t have lost the new treasures that I didn’t get planted last fall. I know you don’t miss the lake effect snow but, on the whole, will my gardening year is shorter, I do love to look out and see the white all over the garden, making little hats on the pots.
    Hugs, Julie

  3. Ah Katherine – wise words indeed!
    I did my first post-flu tai chi training session today and was surprised how weak and wobbly I was even after a very short session ….I’ve obviously got a way to go to get back to full fighting strength!

    You’ve got lots of lovely things springing forth in your garden. The camellia is beautiful – full of delicate promise.
    I haven’t been into my garden for about 10 days, but I’ve just been to check on some Hellebore Niger that I split and transplanted back in autumn. They’ve all taken well and have loads of buds on them. I didn’t linger, but I’ll go armed with my camera next time!

  4. Good morning, Philip! Lovely to think of the sun coming up over the City, illuminating your giant lupines, which I am now dying to see! Glad you enjoyed Rodney (and probably Deva Premal, early morning) and hope Leighton and Robin were not too jarring a way to awaken! ๐Ÿ™‚ They are rather more for later in the day. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for visit. Kathryn xoxo

  5. Awww, Cousin Julie, I do recall the beauty of heavy snows and remember childhood years in Ohio, making tunnels throughout. Somehow it did not agree with my adult temperament, and here I am. It’s nice to imagine and I’m glad you are enjoying. And soon you, too, will be among your beloved flowers, speaking to them all and loving them, as I know you do. Love, Kathryn xoxo

  6. Good day, Liz! Sorry to hear you were not well (read your latest post: love the tea house and the explanation of Our so and so; I do love the British language so!!), but how smart of you to do tai chi all winter to stay fit and in preparation for all the summer activities! And, yes, it only takes a slight break to ruin momentum! Hope you are on the mend. You have to much to look forward to in your garden! Kathryn xoxo

  7. Oh, the Beautiful camellias.. Lucky you. How Wonderfully inspiring, mom! I’m so ready for Spring, and your suggestions are perfect.

    Love you,

  8. Good morning, Antonia! Yes, so ready for spring, indeed! And another week of drizzle before us. The plants all seem to love it, and we will reap their full beauty in a few short weeks. Kisses! Mom xoxo

  9. Yes, Oh Yes! Spring and Deva Premal…it doesn’t get much better than that! (Oh, and please send Spring up here to the mountains, because it really isn’t here at ALL yet!)

  10. Hi, Radiance! This comment left me laughing out loud! Yes, spring and Deva Premal has a very nice ring to it, even here! Not sure you’d want what we have to offer today–another grey day. Hoping for a burnoff. Mountains sound nice, though. Hugs! Kathryn xoxo

  11. It’s like you could read my mind.
    I worked on my garden this weekend so I am sore.
    Thanks for this….I so enjoy your website.
    Love you!

  12. This is what scares me most about gardening! But I am determined to make it work this year, with my 2 year old assistant. I think she’ll really enjoy the process (and eventually, the rewards). I will look to your blog for inspiration and guidance!

  13. Lucia! Welcome! I think a lot of folks found themselves out in the garden this weekend on the West Coast! We are being called. ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t forget to use arnica gel if you are sore! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for comment. Kathryn xoxo

  14. Mikki_Q, you will be soooo glad you did this with your two year old! Nothing better! Check out the blogs on my blogroll, too. The gardening blogger community is wonderfully helpful! Good luck! Kathryn xoxo

  15. New life unfurling is a beautiful site, dear Kathryn, and your photos, a delight. My gardens are still blanketed in white with 6-10 inches expected today so still have plenty of time to work on your fine suggestions ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the treats!

  16. Good morning, dear Joey! New life unfurling, indeed! Lucky you to have time to prepare for the challenges of spring. Meanwhile your beautiful garden lies resting below your blanket of lovely snow. I look forward to photos on your blog, my dear! Kathryn xoxo

  17. Oh! You are tempting me to move to California!!! I have been watching the ground for weeks and only seen a few snowdrops peeking out! I am about to start some seeds in my windowsill, but there is too much time before spring is bursting onto my scene! You and your Winter Body enjoy it, with your Spring Soul.

  18. Welcome, Red Clover, from your winter spot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Making me think of Celia Thaxter who used to start seedlings in egg shells and then drag them on a boat to her island in Maine…You’ll get there soon enough! Kathryn xoxo

  19. That does it…I’m moving!

    No but seriously Kathryn you are a lucky girl. Please send some warm winds my way. The light has returned but it is still much to much white fluffy stuff in my garden and very very cold.

    I wish you a lovely weekend and a Happy (Saint) Valentine’s Day.

  20. Good early morning, Tyra! Yes, lucky to be in California. No doubt about it. But it is still cold and grey.
    And, yes, granted, not the darkness and snows you are dealing with. I lived in Amsterdam through three winters. I remember well the darkness and cold. Yikes! It was a good experience, however. Thank you for the weekend well wishes. Appreciated! And the visit. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kathryn xoxo

  21. Beautifully written my dear. I was thinking of my winter body as I read. I love how kindly you spoke to yours. I will remember to do so for mine. Happy Valentine’s Day my friend.~~Dee

  22. Hi, Dee! Yes, we need to love our bodies back into full capacity, no doubt about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for the Valentine good wishes! Love to you in Oklahoma! Kathryn xoxo

  23. Beautiful post.

  24. Hi, Theresa, Thank you so very much. Kathryn xoxo

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