January’s Cold Truth



This post by Cole Smith


Do you know what it’s like to have a January birthday?


January's Cold Truth


It’s cold.



And though I used to resent it, over the years I’ve grown to appreciate my special month. It’s more than just finding the silver lining; I look forward to these days. So, January haters, brace yourselves. Like a chill wind from the north, here are a few reasons I savor the brief days:



All the magic happens in the dark and cold.


If you think about it, a lot of our favorite story elements are set in cold darkness. I’m not only talking about the Snow Queen, either. Rumpelstiltskin showed up at night. Beauty finds the Beast nearly dead in a cold, dark, abandoned castle. The princess pitched the frog prince against her bedroom wall at night. (And we somehow forgave her for this, why? Because it was the end of a long day?)

Gathering stories, the Grimms must have appreciated that there’s something powerful about short, cold days around the hearth. It’s only natural that, in the days before digital entertainment and giant snowplows, families crafted stories to pass the time—and the truth. Nothing preserves old wisdom quite like a story.

It’s said the darkest hour is just before dawn. Add some chill to that hour, and it makes for some amazing, magic moments.



January Rebirth



There’s more free time for introspection.


In the hectic springtime and jam-packed summer, it’s hard to find time for stillness. And who wants stillness, when the weather’s so fine and there’s so much fun? In a culture that worships multi-tasking and constant busyness, it’s nice to have an excuse to slow down.

Still moments are when we reflect and evaluate. We take stock and find insights. Think about the times you’ve had an epiphany. It probably wasn’t during a summer softball game…


Regeneration takes rest.


In one parable, Jesus said, “…unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” Life has seasons, and regeneration has a cost. To be renewed, we have to have a time of rest. Skip it? Risk burnout.

Even other climates have monsoons, an occasional desert rain, or dry, wasting periods. Nature uses seasons as a reset button, to store up energy. Like the early daffodils, we recharge so that we can burst forth in shocking beauty.


January's Cold Truth


So on this, the next-to-last day of January, 2018, I’m grateful. Thank you, January, for the cold that brings my family closer together, basking in the cozy warmth and rest of home. I love the sunrises and sunsets, the short hours of daylight in between, and the few, fleeting Quadrantid meteors streaking across the night sky. Thanks for the long evenings that will be reclaimed by yard work and busyness, come spring.


January—do you love it or hate it? How do you spend the long evenings of the new year?


* * * * *


Cole Smith is a writer, teacher, and mountain biker in West Virginia. She enjoys good coffee and great stories. She shares inspiration, encouragement, and tips for creative overwhelm at www.colesmithwrites.com.


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7 thoughts on “January’s Cold Truth

  1. Lots of good reasons to like January. I like your way of looking for the good, which we should do with every month/day in my opinion. My birthday is January also as I covered in a blog earlier this month. I have good memories of this month on the farm I grew up on in ND. Days when work ceased during the day and the family was in the house. When no TV blared so family members got out musical instruments, played cards or did needle work or sewing. While cows were still milked twice a day, animals fed and watered, it was a time of semi-rest for the farmers as well as the land.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely post about the season I most enjoy. I love cold weather. I don’t do well in the heat–I’ve come to think bright sunlight is an irritant–and in Central Texas we have plenty of hot weather. Winters in the past few years have been warmer than they were when I was a child. This January has been cold–not like it is in the north, of course–but cold enough to wear sweaters most of the time, which I like more than summer clothes. I agree about introspection: sitting in the evenings in a cozy room with my husband, cats, laptop, and books, I’m inclined to think more deeply than in summer. (As far as I’m concerned, multitasking is another word for being interrupted.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was born during a sometimes cold month — November… Nov. 20 to be exact. Sometimes there can even be snow on the ground in northeastern Ohio in late November. Heck, it’s only a month until Christmas. That’s how I saw Christmas back in my kid days. I’d have my birthday, and then I’d start counting down the days until Christmas.

    When I write in the fantasy genre, I sometimes plot out a scene in the wintertime. I can remember winter scenes involving mountain traveling as well as snowy streets and alleys inside walled cities. My tales are usually set in Medieval times, but with dragons, elves and female thieves who can outfight any man.


  4. A lovely blog. My Mom, Del’s Mom and Dad, our oldest grandson, and two of my sister-in-laws were born in January. These are some of my favorite people so I am glad for January. I like the end of January because the days are getting a little longer. I was born in December, so I too was a winter baby. I liked your pictures. Thanks Cher’ley


  5. I have a January birthday and have always wished for an outdoor party like my sister has. But I have grown to like January. I am not a fan of the cold, so I feed the wood stove. But January is when I plan out my year, the trips I will take, when we will entertain, what remodeling project we will tackle and when etc.


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