“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it: the whole story doesn’t show.” Andrew Wyeth
With Christmas and New Year festivities now gone, it is tempting to fall into a sense of gloom. The shorter days and cold, damp weather may seem depressing and affect our mood. At worst this can lead to what is known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
With COVID-19 and a third lockdown, such a low mood risks taking an even greater hold but this does not have to be the case. While it is vital to stay at home as far as possible, we are still able to go out for exercise and walks in the local area. This can make all the difference.
This is the time of year when we can discover the pure bones of nature: the lie of the ground, stones and pebbles; the contour of trees, the twist and turn of branches and twigs, the markings on tree bark; lichen and fungi. The quality of light can be sharp and intense, casting long shadows. We can also enjoy the raw sensations of wind, rain and ice so long as we are wrapped up warm with solid footwear. And there is still rich colour thanks to evergreen plants with flowers, berries and cones for wildlife to enjoy.
So, hold on to the New Year festive spirit by celebrating winter’s charms on your walks. Pause, slow down and savour the moment.
To help with this, we have created a Discovery Pack: Light in Darkness, pointing out what is striking and beautiful at this time of year and suggesting arts and crafts activities you can follow up at home. You can download this pack from our Resources page.