I always wonder, come winter, what there will be to photograph. Low light, cameras that freeze outside. Who wants to see pictures of my house or what I cook? That's a lot of what I look at these colder, darker days.
It's as if my creative cortex perks up its ears and answers, "challenge accepted." I began noticing beautiful, amazing things all around me this week. Symmetry in scenes before me. Beautiful sunrises at 9am, while we walk Abby to school. Perfect light filtering in through bare tree branches as the sun sets at 3:30. Colourful art being created inside on a forbiddingly cold day. Colour and life and scenes everywhere.
I have been seeing what there is to see, many of those small, beautiful things that mean so much when I take stock at day's end. Remembering these things, via memory or photograph, helps me to keep track of what I need to be doing, as opposed to what I want to be doing: I need to be engaging these girls' amazing minds, because they are growing in leaps and bounds. I want to be tidying messes and stretching my shoulders, but a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos needed a fourth hippo operator. I need to be here, now, instead of thinking about there, later.
I wanted to watch a movie on the couch, but I needed to clear the driveway, so out we went for an hour or so of the girls building up our sliding hill and my contributing to it with shovelled snow. There's been a lot, and it feels like real winter now. We're still getting out on the daily to stretch our legs, make snow houses and walk the dog, putting our winter gear to good use. We even stopped our morning walk during -30C weather to check out a snow dog in the sky! (The effect of mirroring suns when water particles freeze into ice crystals and reflect the sunlight)
Future Sarah is always thankful to past Sarah for capturing our seasonal activities and the girls' own creations in photos. At the time, they seem like nothing special, but end up being such treasures. If but nothing else, it's proof positive that even when the days are short, the landscape is white and gray, and the cold weather makes me want to turn in, my creative mind thrives. The snowy days become a blank canvas: give me more space, and I will come up with more ways to fill it.
I've also learned that I create and notice beauty surrounding me a lot more when I feel better. (Not just fine, but better, you know?) Holiday foods are typically cheese-y, bread-y and sugar-y, and while that makes my mouth happy, I get a bit sluggish in body and mind. Since the new year has rolled out, I've been trying to eat more plants, and take in more easily digested yums, like this awesome detox tea from Oh She Glows. I know detox is a buzz-word, but I have been feeling more warmed from the inside, more energized with this tea and other good food input.