Saturday 15 March 2014


Let's not argue about how much snow there was this year.
It was cold, but there's no point in going back to the records.
The fact is that Winter is a challenge every year, in one way or another.

The animals have it right.

Most take it easy.
Many hibernate.
Some leave outright.

Like the proverbial grasshopper,

our goal throughout the Summer should be preparing for Winter.
Growing and preserving, hunting and gathering.
All to ensure survival through the Winter months.

Perhaps it's a lesson that we have lost hold of.

Have we become the ant?
Certainly the Summertime is easy.
And why not relax after a hard Winter?

Or maybe it is the drive and ambition foisted on us by our society.

Coercion for the sake of a robust GDP.
The expectation to produce year round, regardless of the seasons.
Western work ethics demand consistent productivity.

I don't expect our gardens to grow food for us in the Winter.
Why should my own progress be measured any differently?

This Winter has been a reminder,

of just how harsh the environment can be.
Even modern solutions fail when faced with a few more degrees of cold,
and an extra layer of snow.

On the homestead, the first victim of Winter is progress.

Short days.
Sub-zero temperatures.
Heavy clothing.
Snow depths.
Winter conspires to halt the drive forward.

And where it should.

The ebb and flow of Nature should dictate our actions.
Long days of Summer serve to give us the extra time we need,
to grow alongside our crops.

To survive is to live in spite of danger or hardship.

Memory gives us the foresight we need to prepare.
Yet Winter is a needless struggle,
as we treat each season with indifference.

Each snowfall, and every frigid night weighs me down.

I struggle forward, only to fail.
Each footfall, and every frozen extremity undermines my determination.
I curse that which I should be thankful for;

The steady breathing of the biosphere that supports my family.

It is not easy to break free from industrial society.  
We are dangerously entwined by it.
But we ignore the whisperings of Nature at our peril.
It harbours a greater certainty than the ephemeral state of modern life.

There is no honour in the battle to impose progress.

It is against Nature.
I will find peace in Winter,
when I put my tools down...
...and survive.


  1. Very well put. Profound.
    It is hard to sit still.

  2. When it is summer and fall, I always think ahead wistfully to the "quiet" days of winter. And in the beginning of winter I do enjoy those days...and then I start to feel like I should be doing something. This winter served as the very important reminder that so much of my city-living survival is not within my hands. And it was not a good feeling.
    Thank you for this post.