I never really stopped to think about it before, until just the other day. Sitting in our local library with my open laptop resting on the table before me, I was browsing through Pinterest. And know something? I kept seeing pins about goal setting (because of the new year) and also information on how to combat the winter blues: teas, herbal remedies, tips and ideas for breaking through the downcast spirits so many people wrestle with in this season.
It got me thinking. Because honestly? That’s not me! I look forward to the quiet, after-Christmas months.
Wanna know something else? As I thought about this, I realized it’s something of a trend among my food-raising, land-loving, traditional minded friends.
Here’s why I think “homesteader” types often struggle less with the winter season.
Winter Rest is Welcome
Unless you’ve live it, it’s easy to let idyllic pictures dominate your visions of the country life. And to be sure, there are moments of such. But let no one be deceived! Raising your own food is hard work. It’s dirty work. It’s both exhausting and richly rewarding.
From spring’s new beginnings to summer’s maintenance and then onward to the fall harvest, the homesteader is a busy individual. Sometimes, we’re only half a step ahead. At other times, we’re two steps behind.
When you raise your own food, that’s the name of the game in every season…except winter.
Once winter descends and the last of the garden is harvested, the meat animals are tucked away in the freezer and the rush and bustle of Christmas is over, the homesteader finally gets to relax. The winter rest is most welcome. And rest, we do! Until nature tells us it’s time to do it all over again.
Winter’s Quiet Offers New Opportunities
Once the farm is tucked away for winter, time spent on outdoor chores significantly decreases and activity moves indoors.
Winter’s quietness gives the homesteader time for other projects. Like reading. Or studying up on a new topic of interest. Maybe they pull out the board games or further woodworking skills. Perhaps they dust off musical instruments once again.
For me, winter is the time when I finally get to pull out my rug-making supplies. I also lug out the sewing machine and try to improve my (very poor) skills. Often, I replenish our household soap supply, along with other homemade, hygienic items. And yes, I definitely give more time to my fiddle and piano!
Just like the other seasons, winter brings special activities that homesteaders look forward to.
Winter’s Slowness Gives Us Time to Connect
All other seasons are busy on the farmstead. There’s always something more that needs doing and we simply cannot carry all of life’s batons at once. And so? We invite others into our traditional living activities. There’s something unique and enjoyable about working alongside a friend.
But it’s also a… busy…type of connecting.
Chatting it up with a friend on a cold winter day while each clasps a warm mug of tea between her hands is… different. Sometimes there’s a wood stove with a warm fire crackling, a warmth that spreads through everything and lends itself to a relaxed environment.
Winter gives us time for that kind of connecting.
We farmish folk desperately need it.
Have You Ever Stopped to Think About It?
It’s interesting, if you really stop to think about it. Those who live on the land are surrounded by and are constantly aware of nature’s ebb and flow. Like the world around them, they hustle in the appropriate seasons. And when rest comes to the land, they also rest.
Perhaps. Perhaps this is why homesteaders struggle less with the winter blues. Because they recognize that even dark, short days hold something special for them. And as the land needs a time of rest and rejuvenation, so do they.
What do you think? Is there truth to this idea? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below!