I sit in the odd space just after the holidays between fatigue and the first real yearning for spring. The mild weather we had earlier in the winter has turned its back, replaced by a relentless biting cold, snow and ice. After all the bustle of December, I admit to feeling a little relieved that my calendar has quieted down. Don't get me wrong. There is still plenty to keep my busy, but I find it is easier to say no this time of year. The colder weather of January offers me an excellent reason to keep the inner quiet I’ve settled into and curl up under a blanket by the fire with one of the many books that has been languishing in the reading stack by my favorite chair. That stack has grown again, joined by books received as gifts in the past weeks, a kind of winter solace held between their covers.
“Reading is working!” I told someone the other day.
I said it not so much as a joke, but as reminder. And maybe there was a little pang of guilt as I put my feet up.
For writers, reading is not just a pleasant way to unwind, it is one of the very real ways we feed ourselves. As keen observers, quiet time to steep in words and ideas is essential to our ability to process both what is inner and what is outer.
I’ll try to be systematic and get to those books in the order they have queued, yet I know I’ll end up kneeling next to my chair, poking at their spines and squinting at titles looking for just the right book for this mood and this moment.
Join me in honoring the pause that the bleak midwinter provides. Find your spot. Whether it is the one with the chair turned so you can look out on the snow falling, the couch cushion that remembers the unique curve of your backside, or that perfect nest of pillows on your bed, grab a book and get to work. Feed yourself. And a good scone never hurt either.