Now the nights are beginning to start in the afternoon, and with it only 3 weeks away from the longest night of the year, it might be fair to say that some of us are not feeling as warm and fluffy as we may have in previous years. For many, 2020 has been tough. The usual cosy fireside idyls hunkered down inside might not be what everyone is in need of right now. Many families are also trying to cope with unusual distances and separations at the moment, but we could learn from our Scandi cousins over the North Sea because while they are experts at Hygge (that warm cosy feeling when we’re together with our loved ones), they are also high skilled outdoorsy type folks. It’s believed they coined the saying that goes along the lines of: ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’.
Winter in the UK might not be a dazzling Spring morning, with bejewelled dewy meadows and sweet-scented aromas of flora and fauna. It makes us work harder to notice the beauty of the deep red berries on a damp, foggy morning, or learn to appreciate the rich earthy woodland perfume. Taking ourselves out into nature can truly rejuvenate a tired heart and soul, and it can be even better if we take our loved ones with us. Winter is about restoration, when nature retreats back to enable it to start afresh in the Spring. So what we might initially find ugly, and maybe a bit squelchy, has a beautiful job to do.
Where better than Rowntree Park to notice the water birds pottering about on the lake, glimpse the sun peer lazily through the pine trees, behold the frost glistening on the statue of Eros right up until lunchtime or catch that amazing heart-shaped puddle in the grass at the Lovell Street entrance. The wonderful thing is: it’s right on our doorstep and (restrictions permitting) you have all the nature and also a cafe that lends books and sells coffee and cake! So wrap up warm, get your wellies on, take a walk and welcome the Winter.
Vikki O’Brien – Bird/wildlife volunteer for Friends of Rowntree Park.