The days get really short as Christmas approaches in the Pacific Northwest. We get into some weather that many islanders grumble about. I tell people; the short days and rainy weather are what keeps out the riff raff.

I have to admit, I like the short days, I like the rain, and I like overcast. People look at me strangely when I say so.

I was in Colorado for a week in December. Although I love the people there, all that sunshine makes me miserable. Shining in my eyes all the time. It is an assault. Harsh dry crisp days are not my thing. Too much. I am so happy to be home to my comfy drizzle.

I will tell you something that is true for me, and if you look carefully, you will see it too. When the days are damp, the outdoor colors are deeper. I can see with my eyes wide open. I don’t need to squint against the brightness. Have you ever noticed how a stone under water is so beautiful and colorful? Then, when you pick up the treasure and take it home, delighted to show everyone your find, it has dried to a mousy grey? Just ordinary and far from the magical stone you gathered into your pocket earlier that day. Same goes for leaves, rocks, moss and trees. A madrone tree for example. Look at the bark on a drizzly day. Intense red, orange, cobalt blue and the darkest of chocolate brown. Same tree on the sunny day. Not so much.

As for the short days.  Winter is a time for hibernation. Making fires, cooking, planning for the year ahead and snuggling with the cat. There are legitimate excuses for not working too hard. The weather is bad, the studio is cold, and it is dark. I might just stay home and read a book, do some yoga and go to bed early.

Introspection is a thing in the winter. I sit on a cushion in the living room. Do a short meditation then some yoga. The tabby cat, Alistar, is somewhere in the house curled cozy on a sheepskin or maybe outside scouting the grounds for invading strays or rodents.  When I sit on my cushion it is a cue for her to come and join me. If she is outside, she meows at the door, pounding at the it with her little paws until I let her in. Then she nonchalantly meanders over to me on my cushion, stands on my lap flicking her tail under my chin then flops down purring loudly. This is her time. Her meditation and her yoga.  Cats have no problem at all living in the moment.

A few stretches and Alistar shows me how yoga should be done. Lie down on my side and pull myself into a backwards arch with my finger nail hooked into the rugs for leverage.  This would be a perfect spine stretch if I could do it.  We do some cat-cows and Griffin, the 150 pound Irish wolfhound needs to join in the fun.  His huge lumbering body comes over sniffs my face then he plunks himself down in the middle of everything. After this point I need to strategically contort my poses to fit between the dog and the cat. All is well.

I am happy it is winter.  The calm before the storm. The moments of pause. Before I know it, the island will burst into spring. With the new growth, and the force of nature comes the rush. And with it, an eagerness to forge ahead and get things done.

There is a passion when putting ideas into action and an exhilaration when plans unfold into fruition. But for now, winter soothes with calm, peaceful sleep.