Winter is dark, long, ugly, and depressing.
That was my old way of viewing winter, it was almost more than I could take when we moved here seven years ago. I had no experience with the natural rhythm of nature. I did not understand the need of seasons. I've learned winter is a time of renewal and rest, not just for me, but for the land as well.
It's a time when things slow down, focus changes. A time for catching up on reading, time to sit and plan for summer gardens, summer projects, seed orders..
For the first time this year I caught myself saying "I'll be glad when winter comes".
Winter has it's own beauty. We don't get much snow here, but nature has a way of decorating without that. I love being able to see deep into the woods after the leaves have fallen. A cardinal, going mostly unnoticed in the summer, becomes a thing of real beauty sitting on leafless branch.
I tend to think of October as being the end of the year. I believe that most farmers, homesteaders, "back to the landers", what ever name makes you happy, feel the same about October. On the calender today is the last day of the old year and tomorrow the first day of the New Year. For me today is not about parties, going out on the town, wearing funny hats and blowing funny whistles (not there is a thing wrong with that). It's about quiet contemplation, counting my blessings and being able to see the last year in hind-sight. Seeing that most of the problems of last year were really blessings in disguise...
Whatever your idea of celebrating New Years, I hope you take a moment to reflect and be grateful.