I woke up this morning to the first real heavy frost. It was a reminder that we're entering the season of hibernation. While it's not officially winter, it's got that feeling that gets us close enough to it that we can start to appreciate the coming change. The garden is nothing but a pile of dirt with hidden potential waiting for the warmth of summer, far in the distance. The insects, worms and other creepy crawlies have dug deep or found somewhere warm to sleep the cold months away. The bees have reduced their population and slowed down inside their hives where they will finally enjoy the honey they spent the summer making. The world has eased its constant rush all around us. It's dark outside before dinner is put on the table and it's still dark in the morning when humanity heads off to work and school.
Our daily meals will change from fresh tomatoes and crisp sun warmed cucumbers to canned and frozen goods we saved to get us through until the spring growth begins again. I made a big pot of hot soup for lunch and filled it with the last of the potatoes we dug from the ground, the last of the carrots and onions and bathed everything in homemade chicken broth from last season's flock. My own dried herbs filled it with exotic flavors and we enjoyed it with cheese and onion buns still warm from the oven. The garden may be gone but the memory carries us through another season in subtle ways.
I made a cup of tea and sweetened it with honey. It was something to enjoy and warm me up as I sat down to do some writing. I'm thankful to my bees who provided this loveliest of nature's nectar. There's something about this season of things that warm you up. It's time to snuggle under a blanket with a good book. It's the season for sweaters, board games and really great movies. We're entering the months when our bodies slow down and put on a layer of fat. Winter for me is a sleepy time but it's a time that my mind and my fingers get busy to write. I'm freed from outside chores and can concentrate solely on my true passion. I find myself strangely thankful for winter and the isolation that it brings as it allows me to get to know myself once again.