Winter and connecting ith Nature

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ElpyhTC
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Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby ElpyhTC » 01 Feb 2015, 20:48

Hi All, I was wondering if anyone had tips on connecting with nature during the winter? Here in New Hampshire we have so much snow on the ground (and another foot on the way) that I can barely see the roads. I love to be out in nature with my feet in the dirt, so this time of year if difficult. Between the cold, short days and snow on the ground I feel very withdrawn from nature. I have houseplants and pets, but I still cant help but feel a void.

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby Skogsvandrare » 02 Feb 2015, 06:03

You could take the oppourtunity to experience Nature in Natures winter outfit. Put on some snowshoes or skis suitable for untracked snow (i.e. 5-7 cm wide), pack some snacks and a thermos flask, a warm coat and something warm to sit on. Wander the forest, find a good spot and sit down, With a mug of hot tea (coffe, chcolate, etc) and a warm coat, look at the snow-covered trees, the soft lines of the ground. The light, everything! Follow the tracks of deer and hares, of rodents and foxes. The trees are sleeping, biding their time. The evergreens in their way, ever ready to wake up the moment warmth comes, the decidious ones sleeping a deeper sleep, but still ready to wake up, even if slower than their cousins. Some birds have gone wantering, some have remained. Be there when the first warmth of spring comes, when the brooks break free of their icy prison, when the first drops of melting snow comes down from ice-covered boulders.

Winter is just another season, and in my way of thinking, to avoid nature when it wears white is like scorning a lover whenever they wear a certain garment. But then I am an outdoorsy person, who will go go out in any weather, I have watched the northern lights in a sleeping bag when it was -50 F, I have seen the rosy light of sunrise on the mid-winter tundra, I have sat by a campfire on a bed of spruce boughts and a reindeer hide and found that it is as good as the summer nights, just different. Snow and cold makes travelling some places easier (bogs and marches are easy roads), and others more difficult.
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illion
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby illion » 02 Feb 2015, 06:14

I struggled with the same thing some time ago, until I found out that I was trying to connect with something that was asleep, and it was not in my power to wake that something up. I went skiing in the woods, I walked with snowshoes, and sometimes I just walked on the roads through the countryside. It is really beautiful. The stillness of winter, the beauty when the Sun shines on the snowy blanket on the fields. The trees are decorated with real stuff from Nature, our Yuletree did not look half as pretty as them. And just feel the power of using your body to get warm. Feel the snow protecting you from the bare frost and the trees protecting you from harsh winter winds. Maybe you will meet a mouse or a bird that has kept its fort in the woods. And best of all, when you get back in, light your hearth and have yourself a cup of warm chocolate while you feel your cheeks are getting warmer and watch them getting redder. That is also Nature. The Nature of Winter I suppose.

:oops: I just saw that Skogsvandrare just gave you the same message as I wanted to, only in a much better way, but I'll let mine be as long as I've already written it, I might as well let the words loose :)

PS. Because Imbolc almost always is the harshest time of year where I live. It is almost always coming with some kind of a snowstorm, but not as bad as you can't get out in it, I use this festival to have myself a short journey in the woods and then I go indoors to do some nice stuff that I've planned on upfront. This year I couldn't do anything because my son is sick, and I just can't get the calmness in my body to do anything, I feel just fatigued. My fiancèe has been working all weekend, unless I would at least have given myself some recreational time in Nature :-(

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby Salomea » 02 Feb 2015, 22:41

Signing under what Illion and Skogsvandrare said- best way is still getting out. From my experience, once You're doing light body exercise the sense of cold starts to disappear. Also nature just looks dead, or dormant, but that's just appearance and if You start to look, You'll see how vivid things are. That goes also about trees (again that's from personal experience), but evergreens, such as Yew, are pretty awaken and happy to "talk". If You approach them with respect and send them a little energy, so they can get to know You, You'll be surprise how fast You'll get a response. Just try ;)
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby Gwion » 03 Feb 2015, 12:54

Isn't the snow Nature? What about a magnifying glass to look at the detail of snowflakes? Nature is what it is rather than what we want it to be, perhaps the lesson is to learn to appreciate the stillness and quiet and the snow itself??
Follow the tracks of deer and hares, of rodents and foxes.
I always used to enjoy doing this as well. You can gain a fascinating insight into what animals are about and what they're doing by following their tracks - something that's hardly possible when there's a carpet of green.
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby ElpyhTC » 05 Feb 2015, 19:21

Yes, Snow is nature of course :) I just personally have a very hard time in the winter. Our winters here are very cold and this year we have much snow on the ground that our roads and driveways all resemble tunnels. The shorter days and frigid weather are very tough on me as I do not like be bundled up and cold. I do try to go outside when the weather is more temperate to breath in the fresh air. I guess I was just looking for a way to not feel so isolated from nature without having to spend so much time being cold. :/

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illion
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby illion » 06 Feb 2015, 05:40

I don't know how cold it is where you live. You say that it is very cold, and it probably is a lot colder than where I live, but I think that it can get very cold here as well at times. In my experience, I almost never get cold while I'm in activity, but it is of course important to dress right. I don't think it is possible to be cold while you are skiing. My problem is more often that it gets too hot :D If it is very cold, I wear a sports mask over my mouth and nose to protect my lungs from cold air and my cheeks from freezing. I've found that some places are better than others, and I seek them. Like going deep into the woods. The trees keep the breeze away from you, and the snow has an isolating effect. To be honest, I think it is a lot colder in the autumn when the grey mist is damping off the earth, we have about 0C and a little rain in the air. We call it "the Grey Cold" here. I use the same clothing then as in winter with -15C but in winter I don't get cold that soon, and I think it is because minus degrees are dry. That said, you can't sit or stand much still, you have to be in activity, and it is not a good idea to walk around with bare hands too much.

As for clothing, I like to wear long woolen underwear, woolen socks, a thick homeknitted woolen sweater, and a thick winter jacket and winter trousers over that. If I'm not going to ski or walk much, I wear snowboots. If I go skiing, I have to change my woolen sweater with fleece and a thin winter suit, unless I'll bathe in my own sweat before I get my skis on.

I work in a forest kindergarten, and we are always outdoors no matter how cold it is. I think it is something you can get used to :)

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby Skogsvandrare » 06 Feb 2015, 06:57

Yes, Snow is nature of course :) I just personally have a very hard time in the winter. Our winters here are very cold and this year we have much snow on the ground that our roads and driveways all resemble tunnels. The shorter days and frigid weather are very tough on me as I do not like be bundled up and cold. I do try to go outside when the weather is more temperate to breath in the fresh air. I guess I was just looking for a way to not feel so isolated from nature without having to spend so much time being cold. :/
Illion pretty much summed it up. Cold is relative, after a spell of -30--35 C days -20 C feels quite nice, and further north in Sweden -35 C is nothing that special. But clothes is the key. Good boots, warm headwear and good mittens make a big difference. Wool is nice, and natural. The margin of this post are too small for fully explaining how I dress for the cold, but the key is wool next the the body, then layers, with a cotton shell outermost. Three pairs of socks in the boots (thick wool ones), thick mittens with a shell, etc.
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby ElpyhTC » 07 Feb 2015, 01:39

Ok, well, I guess then once my lung flu clears up I will have to bundle up with what I can find a try to take a lil romp down the nature trail nearby. I think one of my roomates may have snow shoes, but I will have to double check! :)

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby illion » 07 Feb 2015, 06:44

Lung flu is probably not so nice in the cold :-(

I hope that you soon get well :)

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby ElpyhTC » 07 Feb 2015, 18:05

ty :) its been a pretty awful 3 weeks, it just wont go away! I have alot of ill friends too, its been a rough year in NH for flus and snow. I'm currently curled up on the sofa with my dog, going to read over my next Gwersi soon, we are expecting another 10-18 inches of sow this weekend! One of my pagan sisters suggested I try using some lavender and also some blue stones to help heal my throat chakra where there sickness seems to be. I think I will try that later on as well :).

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby illion » 08 Feb 2015, 08:30

Aaaah :cry: It is awful.

Some years ago, I had three winters on a row being sick all the time. I hated when the snow kept falling and falling, because I had to shovel it out of our driveway all the time. My dear Thomas was working for long hours, sometimes gone for a week, and I was just not sick enough to stay home from work, but I was so tired and feeling so bad. I wasn't enjoying Nature in winter at that time to be honest :oops:

Then I started to take larger doses of vitamin D, and now I am hardly sick at all. I think it is because of my d-vitamin levels, but of course I cannot be sure. Have you checked yours?

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby DaRC » 09 Feb 2015, 14:03

its been a pretty awful 3 weeks, it just wont go away!
Yes it's been terrible over here too - it hit me a week or 2 before Xmas and I took 6 weeks to recover properly :blink:
Then I started to take larger doses of vitamin D
I've been taking multi-vits this winter, focussing on vit-D, and have noticed an improvement in my mood; I've been less affected this winter - although there could be multiple reasons for that (if I do get SAD)...
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby ElpyhTC » 09 Feb 2015, 15:27

I take Vit D every morning with my anti-depressants. I just started doing it this year as my friend kept nagging me to do it. lol
I havent had the levels checked though, its been a while since I've been to the doctor. I was going to go today if my lung flu hadn't improve but Im doing a little better today, I can actually get up off of the sofa and walk around.
My sister thought it might be Pneumonia, as apparently its been making its way around quite extensively this year. It certainly as a possibility but I think its more likely it is Bronchitis. This is week 4 of my cold/flu battle of the season and of our constant snowstorm battle over here. Between the both of those things, winter has really worn down my armor, Im so exhausted! I've missed alot of work too which of course is a big stress factor.
It's snowing currently, we are expected to get another 10 inches today from what i hear!
it's like nature is forcing me to rest lol

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illion
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby illion » 10 Feb 2015, 05:27

I take 5000 IU of vitamin D each day and my level is in the middle of the ref.range. I don't want to think about what the number would be unless I had taken so much. It is important to check regularly as it is a fat soluble vitamin, or actually it is a hormone.

Here is a link to some of the new research on vitamin D if anyone is interested
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/category/vitamin-d-news/

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby ShadowCat » 10 Feb 2015, 09:32

it's like nature is forcing me to rest
Our body is still connected to older rhytms: when there is little daylight, there is time to rest, plan, dream, recover from the work done in warmer months. Our 2015 economy doesn't work like that anymore. I believe that many seasonal disorders are worsened by this relentlessness going on, regardless for season or body-needs.

That said: there is a weird flu about: here the hospitals are full with people with pneumonia. And we don't have any snow, the birds are singing outside in my hedge already and the first flowers are bursting out of the ground.
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby DaRC » 10 Feb 2015, 12:36

I believe that many seasonal disorders are worsened by this relentlessness going on, regardless for season or body-needs.
A very good point, modern industrialised society does want us to work like robots without the peaks and troughs of the year.
I've noticed it more over the past few years (which could be because Druidry means I'm more in-tune or just because I'm getting older) in the summer I wake up early and in the winter I want to hibernate.
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
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and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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ElpyhTC
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby ElpyhTC » 11 Feb 2015, 21:19

I have so much YES to agree with about your posts!
Definetly a weird flu going around here as well. Pneumonia also. I've been terrible sick into my fourth week no ( i think it as two flues back to back). And its in my lungs, but Im not feverish and such so I dont think its demoniac.
anyhow,
I agree about society. So many times I have found myself downtroden and thinking about how much I do not "fit in" with modern society. I see the world and its people flashing around me , going about thier day to day lives as if its normal and I wonder how it can be. Its both sad and frustration. For myself the world around me move too quickly and has requirements that my soul has no interest in.
I suffer from depression and I admit, its TOUGH living in the world we live in today. Disconnected from each other and nature and spirit.
Its like the more our species learns about technology the farther it pulls away from the real world. The beautiful and living world.
I am sad often because I feel at a lost as to what to do. I do not feel as if I belong here and its hard to try and find your way through an environment that feels so hostile to our true spirits.
Just my few cents on it. Its nice to finally be able to talk to others about it!

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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby Catafonia » 12 Feb 2015, 12:16

Hi ElpyhTC

I think it's inevitable that any halfway sensitive persons feels they don't really fit into modern society because modern society isn't designed for proper living, with ups and downs, space to experiment and ponder, etc. It's designed for people that stay fit while sitting down all day, stay bright and attentive when doing mind-numbing, repetitive tasks, keep smiling and grounded when spending all day in an artificial environment indoors, moving only by car or underground to work and trying to "unwind" by staring at a TV screen. But fortunately things like the OBOD course, this forum, meeting like-minded people get you outdoors, rediscovering nature and grounding yourself, which helps to keep modern society in perspective. And there are quite a few positive aspects of this society, if used wisely, e.g. dentistry, various medical treatments where natural remedies don't help, the ability to store food through the winter, modern communications with empathetic people, etc. So it's a case of pick'n'mix - and of course simply get out into Nature. I hope you will find her influence positive and uplifting, then the ills of modern society won't weight you down so much.

Blessings
Catafonia :smgrove:

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ElpyhTC
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Re: Winter and connecting ith Nature

Postby ElpyhTC » 14 Feb 2015, 22:16

Went to the Doctor, finally on the mend I think. Today Mother Nature is kissing us here in NH with another Blizzard. This time though I am chuckling at her instead of dreading it/ :) thanks guys.


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