This post by Cole Smith
Do you know what it’s like to have a January birthday?
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.
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.
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?
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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.