Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter Color (and my word for 2014)

In late fall I always count down to December 21st, the Winter Solstice, the shortest day / longest night. As the days grow darker I struggle with seasonal depression and look forward to that day when the days become longer even by a few minutes. Living in the Northwest doesn't help, it's cloudy and (usually) rains a lot which keeps us all indoors. One thing that really stands out this time of year are the plants that provide winter color.

Berries on Hawthorn branches

After Thanksgiving we took Chris' parents to see the Wildlife Botanical Gardens in Brush Prairie, WA. I've mentioned the gardens a few times now, and they are one of my favorite places to visit. I've been there in spring, summer and fall, but this was the first time I'd been there in winter.

Choke Cherry is an explosion of bright red berries

Chris and I had been there about a month before and it was surprising how different it looked. They have a lot of perennial and deciduous shrubs planted but they had all disappeared. On that last visit I'd admired the berries on the Hawthorn trees and one Choke Cherry tree.  But when the rest of the garden is blooming I didn't pay them a lot of attention.  Right now the Choke Cherry is spectacular, one of these would look great in a yard with evergreen trees and shrubs.


My last post was about choosing a word for 2014. I've considered several words and honestly the one I really need is focus. I want to do too many things at once and end up accomplishing nothing. But, I said that I wanted a word I could fall back on. What I meant was when I'm feeling overwhelmed or frustrated I'd like to think of my word and feel calmness.

The word I've chosen has popped up a few times online or in something I've read recently. The other day I was in the garage emptying a storage box and found a tiny notebook. It was my Gratitude Journal from 1997. As I read through it I was struck by the simplicity of the things I'd noted. 

So this year my word is Gratitude. I intend to end my blog posts with a note of gratitude. While I'm always grateful for flowers, I want to make this a little more personal.

Today I am grateful for :
finding my one true love
for two friendships that have lasted years despite long absences
YouTube videos on washing machine repair / a person who understands them
waking up to sun on the trees
a big fur ball who shows her love for me in odd ways.

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