Winter: season for silent evolution

Winter is hard for me.
Yes, I love the beanies and gloves and woollen layers. I love the excuse to cook hearty, warming curries and eat slow cooked soups. And any excuse to sit cozily by the fire with a book or some crafty project is fine by me.

But come mid-July every year, it seems that winter dazzle starts to fade. Battered by winds and rain and mud, surrounded by dying and decay it all seems to seep in and leave my mood melancholy and dark.

Cold.
Harsh even.

Brutal, abrasive.

Still, winter is eerily beautiful. For in all the darkness and death there is space to be found. A certain peace we don’t get a chance to see or feel in any other season.

There is a silence and awe that can only be felt on a still, frosty winter morning. When the ground crunches underfoot, the birds no longer sing and the air hangs heavy with the misty dew.2014 - 122014 - 17

A conscious pause found in those foggy mornings that sit like a cocoon all day long, a blanket of comfort and mystery.2014 - 202014 - 1

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Or as night descends and shadows lengthen across the land early afternoon, mother nature is quiet too.   2014 - 62014 - 3

She is urging us to still ourselves, to settle, sit and reflect. To look inward, digest and then let go.2014 - 6(1)Are you feeling it?

I am.

There has been a motto in my head this past week or two that has kept me moving forward, one (bright red) gumboot at a time…

this too shall pass

For on the other side of the darkness is spring.

A season for new growth, germination and Phoenix-ing. Where the promise of fertile lands sown with hopes and dreams, can comes true.

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Two perfect winter days.

Time and Space.

Space and Time.

It’s all I need really….time to heal, to reflect and recharge. Space to feel, to breathe, and to explore. To recalibrate and grow new ideas. Or simply, the opportunity to spend some quality time immersed in the pristine, calming world of Mother Nature.

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I hate to overuse the work “perfect” – but that’s what it was. Last week, I spent two nights at Wilson’s Promontory for the first time in about 20 years…when I was last there you could still buy a big bag of bird seed from the general store to feed the birds. Holidays as a kid were chaos in tents, icy cold swims and (equally) icy cold showers. Changeable weather, adventures up the creeks and across squeaky sand.

As a kid this was an endless wonderland.
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This trip it felt like I was transported to a different era – where the measure of time was not a watch but the waves carving into granite cliffs. Or the tidal river engulfing moss-covered boulders and trespassing into the wetlands. The sun peeking up over the mountains, fanning out to light the sky and sparkle on the seas. Where your eyes cast out across the ocean…to nothingness – so close to the edge of the universe.

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If you haven’t been there yourself, do. Put it one your list to visit and soon – winter is kind to this part of the world (if you bring your woolies and hiking boots!!).

The days seemed to start brighter and crisper than what I am used to.

The sun rises gently but firmly, changing the landscape and bringing the world to life.

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It really was just me and the birds on the beach that morning.

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Squeaky beach wasn’t as squeaky as I remembered, but I had it all to myself.

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, or stop thinking just how lucky I am to live in this part of the world.

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If you’re blessed as we were, the weather will be kind. The days will feel long and glorious. The views will not disappoint.

We chose an ambitious 17km day walk, and didn’t regret a minute of it.

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There were chats and laughter (mostly on the downhill parts). Jokes and some serious debate.

A lunch picnic in the sun.

Wildlife spotting – poor little thing, didn’t like being the centre of attention really!

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Many beach strolls – the water blue and the sky bluer. The clouds all pretty and wispy.

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Obstacles to negotiate, icy waters to test.

Photos to take, and [more] food to eat.

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And sunsets to melt your heart and give strength to weary legs.

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Time and space – two days in paradise really is proof that the simple things in life give such pleasure.

How blessed I truly am.