Ah, December. The chilly starts to settle into cold, the dark is deep and the stars are bright. There is something about the cold that makes clear nights so lovely this time of year. While I love the joyous vitality of trees in full green, now that the bare branches stretch up from the horizon, the sky has more room to fill with light and color and awe.
It's still a great time to be out in the woods - the trails are maybe a little wet and slippery with the downed leaves having been rained or snowed on, so go carefully, and enjoy the quiet. (Quiet, that is, unless you are visiting a roaring waterfall that is swollen with rain! A visit to Barberville Falls in Rensselaer County was powerful!)
Closer to home, many of the plants are dead, but left us some charming seedheads to look sweet with a frosting of snow. Here's a Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan):
and an Echinacea (Coneflower):
Some plants are just powering through, fighting the good fight, like this Lemon Balm which was a volunteer seedling, and is still shining out greenly:
And this Swiss Chard remains lovely in the cold garden, although some stems have broken with snow. Amazing, though, that much color growing in December! (Not to mention harvesting greens from the garden in December! Yay!)
Some days, though, are just cold and gray and you don't want to go out and tromp around... some days are for getting cozy and snuggling inside, and that’s part of seasonal living, too. Light up a Santa’s Breath or A Walk in the Woods candle and relax while you read under a fuzzy blanket. Have some tea - or some Turmeric Honey Milk, a warm favorite for bedtime and a real healthy treat. Turmeric is a powerful healing herb, and this blend of spices and honey always makes me relaxed and ready to hit the hay:
(If you don't eat honey, you can substitute another sweetener, but honey is a great sleep aid so it fits perfectly in this nighttime bevvy.)
Whether you make it outside for some fresh air adventures or have just cocooned for the winter already, take some time to be still and feel the settling in of the earth’s energy as the seasons change. Maybe that’s part of why the holidays feel so frenzied for so many folks – there is so much holiday bustle going on while the quiet, reflective darkness pervades the natural world, and we feel pulled in opposite directions.
We can balance, though, we can ground ourselves in the slowing down of winter, allowing ourselves moments of peace and reflection, while still partaking in the revelry. Ah, balance, dear birds, it is a beautiful thing.
If you are looking for some revelry to partake in, we'll be at the Lark St. Holiday Pop-Up this Friday and Saturday, December 9 & 10. And if you prefer to hunt for gifts from the comfort of your own home, please visit our shop for natural, non-toxic giving. It makes us so happy when love in the form of Tidy Thyme is shared!
Be well, friends, and enjoy the season.
the Tidy Thyme Crew