Weather Warrior: Thoughts About the Darker, Shorter Days Ahead

It’s 5:15 p.m. in Portland, OR. Daylight-Savings Sunday. I’m watching the sky darken. The gray is eerie and beautiful.

I’m heading into my second Portland winter, and I’m both giddy and nervous about the dark days ahead.

During my 15 years living in bright Las Vegas, I felt grateful for the short, mild winters. Really grateful. I vowed to never again live in the cold northeast.

And yet, moving to Portland last year, I felt a readiness – maybe even a yearning – for more darkness and that special, seasonal invitation to deep-dive and recharge in guilt-free hibernation mode.

Dark, dreary days invite me to be slow, quiet, and reflective.
They’re great for all the reading, listening, and writing I want to do.
Great for daydreaming. And naps. And daytime Netflix (all of which I hope for more of this year).
Great for deep listening and creative explorations.
Great for chestnut-scented candles. White bean soup in the crock pot. Thick socks, sweatpants, and turtleneck sweaters. Rose tea.
And dark, dreary days bring that unique “we’re in this together” quality that magnifies connection with others.

Portland’s record-level rain and snow last year was a treat for me. Not many Oregonians shared my bliss.

“Let it be dark,” I thought, (but keep it to myself).

The hermit in me truly had fun last year (once I bought silk long underwear to stay warm!)

Will the novelty wear off this year? Do I have a say if it does or doesn’t? A 10-day forecast of cloudy skies and rain can feel like a kick in the gut. Can it also be an invitation to surrender to what is?

Since I can’t persuade Mother Nature to bless Portland, this new city I love, with southern California weather, can I find a way to flow with her rhythm? Can I be a weather warrior, and mine the gifts of a northwest winter?

We’ll see.

Weather as a practice!

In the meantime, I’m loving these wise words, delivered to my email by First Sip:

God bless the weather
and the words.
Any words.
Any weather.

~John Newlove, from “The Weather”

Here’s to all of us, no matter the weather, mining the gifts of the shorter, darker days ahead!

With love,

Want to write?
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