Welcome to Winter

bird forages on winter berries

I hated Winter. Growing up in Minnesota, where they scoff at snow days and the windchill freezes the inside of your nostrils, I couldn’t wait to move to a warmer climate. At the age of 20, I left my mittens behind and headed for Southern California, spending a few years amongst the palm trees. But it didn’t feel right, and my Scandinavian blood led me home to the North.

Much like my younger self, many folks dread this dark North Shield season with its limited daylight and cold, wet weather. They look towards spring and wish away the winter months, much like someone might trudge through the workweek and wait for the weekend. But life is too short to be wishing away days and seasons.

If you’re like so many and find yourself with a gloomy distaste for Winter, I urge you to make this year different. There is so much beauty in a frosted window, peaceful snowy morning, and the sound of rain on the rooftop. Allow yourself to find these moments of beauty and take them in with your senses. Step outside and draw in a deep and cold breath. Enjoy the invigorating sensation that it has on your warm lungs.

Are you ready to change your relationship with Winter?

Cozy In

In Denmark, hygge (pronounced hooga) is a common word to describe a quality of coziness, contentment, and well-being – particularly in the colder months. It is why the happy folks in Scandinavia find so much joy during their frigid winters! Hot beverages, indoor fires, blankets, and hot soaks after a brisk walk are many of the ways that you can find your own “comfort and joy” this season. Invest in an electric blanket, a hot tub, or bath soaks. Grab a page-turning novel and turn on the kettle. Surrounding yourself with comforts can bring so much sweetness to the season and give you a reason to smile.

Burrowing Into a New Hobby

Winter is the perfect time to go deep with a new hobby, craft, or study. Are you finally ready to learn to knit or play that musical instrument that’s been collecting dust?

Maybe this will be the year that you master the art of friction fire. Our Awakening Fire workshop is a sure way to get you hooked, or you can learn this skill from home with our FireMastery Video Course. Connecting with fire will surely bring accomplishment and warmth to your life during these dark days.

Consider expanding your mind with a new course of study. Start to learn a new language, enroll in a class, or begin your independent naturalist training with Kamana. You may even create a plan to advance your studies each Winter, giving you a reason to look forward to the season.

Planning for Brighter Days

If you still can’t take your mind off the warmth of late spring afternoons, get to planning! You can spend these Winter evenings plotting out a garden or landscaping project. Map your route for a big trek to take this summer, it could finally be your year to climb that mountain. Take it one step further, and plan your route to incredible transformation and deep nature connection by enrolling in The Immersion at Wilderness Awareness School which starts in September. Your biggest adventure yet may require months of planning, and there’s no better time like the present.

Finding love for Winter can truly be as simple as giving yourself a reason. As I sit on my sheepskin rug by the fire with a cup of tea on this morning of December 21st, I wish you all a happy Winter Solstice! May you burrow into happiness and fulfillment this season.

Wilderness Awareness School