As calendar pages turn and seasons change – we use the rear view mirror to gauge distance traveled, shifts made, triumphs measured, and losses endured.

The gradual exit from autumn and entrance into winter provides us that vantage point in a year none of us could have predicted.

A basic, expected approach to the season of autumn or fall is one of letting go. Nature provides us this cue where to take our gaze. Leaves brilliantly assume gloriously bright hues, then fall and fade to brown, returning to the very earth below the tree that gave it life. The cycle repeats.

Autumn is also the time of harvest – so one could take that letting go idea and contrast it with the collecting, gathering, and storing that must come before winter. Survival depends on it.

Winter. The dark, dead, cold time of the year. Just survive it. Hold on to the things that will get you through it. Use them sparingly, wisely, lovingly.

Consider what you’re taking with you into winter. How does it sustain you? How can it nourish you?

I’m choosing to take my list of the “gifts of quarantine”. The things made possible by the restraints and caution. The opportunities and experiences – joyful and sorrowful alike – have all been gifts in that they’ve been lessons. 

There are so many, I could fill pages and page of this blog if I sat and wrote them out. But there’s one in particular that stands out at this moment. 
I got to witness the beautiful, loving, sibling energy and bond between my daughter and bonus daughter, up close. We all got to be together as a family in a way I never imagined could have been possible, given our blended origins.

I need nothing more than that and I’ll not only survive winter, I’ll thrive in it.

There’s still time to add to your gifts of quarantine list – even if you have not listed the first thing. As a suggestion, write: “I’m here” at the top of the list. That is a gift that cannot be wrapped and placed under a tree – and yet it is the most valuable gift of all. I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad you’re taking what you need into winter with me.