Some say that the eyes are the window to our soul. We’ve all looked in the mirror or into the eyes of others and witnessed eyes flat and lacking of joy. We’ve also been in the spell of the opposite, where they have sparkled and danced with intrigue.
Winter can be difficult for me (as well as millions of others). The darkness and cold settle in and take up residency in my soul. If I could charge them rent, I would. Last winter I wrote about looking for the light in the absence of it and then about a month ago or so it dawned on me (as I was offering someone else counsel) that the light isn’t outside of us, it’s inside of us. I perhaps have known this all along, but it wasn’t until saying it aloud that it resonated.
Keeping the soul fire lit during this time of year takes some creativity, but for me, my go to is food. During winter, my food choices are heightened in the daily feeding of my soul - not just in making healthy choices, but also pausing to understand how that food was raised and who’s hands nurtured it along the way. Acknowledging the labor and feeling the connection of the greater producer community fuels my encouragement and gives me hope.
To really warm the soul, there’s nothing quite like hearty comfort food, especially on days where the sun can’t quite push through. A quick call to family with an invitation for dinner and “just bring yourselves” fills the table with happy eaters, the house with laughter and my heart with joy.
When all else fails and the internal flame starts to dim, I get in the kitchen and bake pies. To me, pie baking is an art form and as many of you sage-pie-bakers know, it is also a labor of love. This labor of love is worth it though when you bear witness of the first fork full of the flaky, buttery crust accented with the sweet filling exploding in pure pleasure and reflecting in a loved ones' dancing, sparkling eyes! It rekindles the fire and lights up my soul. The homemade goodness lingers on my lips and reflects in my eyes long after the last bite has been enjoyed.
To balance my food crutch, exercise is also critical for my stability and on those bleak days Prince, my dog, is most helpful. When he has had enough of being pent up, he fetches his ball and tosses it at my feet until I reluctantly fetch my shoes. Just watching him react to me getting bundled up is worth getting out in the freezing temperatures to “Princercise”. His happiness is infectious and helps thaw the winter blues away.
This February my heart and soul are full of gratitude for all that is around me, for the earth that supports me and for all of you that help us move the sustainable ball up the field. I hope this finds you all wintering well too and successfully tending to the fires of your soul. If not – I’ve got a few recipes for you that I think might help! OR… just come over and we’ll bake a pie together. (Just kidding, call first.) ;) Wishing you all a happy, healthy heart month!