This is a tough month for me.  I’ve heard people say that February is the hardest month of the year, but I really enjoy the brief and holiday-packed whirl through those four weeks.  January, though…January is hard.

It’s a long month of gray and white.

Winter is here, but the magical sparkle has worn off.  It’s far too early to wish for spring, but too late to be glad it’s winter.

After a busy Advent and frenzied holiday crafting season, there’s not much to do that really inspires me– I’m left with the mending, with its constant needling whine in the background, and the usual grind of household goods and foods and cold-weather supplies.

I tend to spend most of January in pseudo-hibernation under a blanket in a corner of my house, watching mediocre horror movies and eating chocolate-covered almonds.

It’s not until pretty late in the month– usually this third week, after Númenor’s birthday– that I start to regain my balance.

I’m rejoicing this week in some simple little gifts of these quiet winter days.  I can find joy in our little flock of pullets, who are just starting to contribute to the larder: two warm, honey-colored eggs every day.  I can find joy in finally making some new clothing for myself, and the serendipity of a newly-drafted pattern that fits perfectly on the first try.  I can find joy in watching Númenor learn what it is to be five years old and being grateful for his health, strength, and amazing growth.  I can find joy in planning for the growing season to come– matching the seeds we’ve saved to the space we have, and wondering if we might build raised beds this spring.

And I can bide my time until February.