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I admit that I always have a sense of relief when the holiday season is over, I have always loved Christmas, the sparkle, the bustle, the anticipation, the joy. But it is also a bittersweet time for me, filled with memories of time gone by and many, many losses. I think as I get older, I spend more time with the ghosts of Christmas past than I do in the reality of the present. So when January comes around, I welcome a new season for myself. I have named it Winterlude.

Have you ever noticed that the angry winter weather seems to lie in weight until the holidays are over? It arrives right after Christmas and makes itself at home for a good long time. After the hectic pace of farmers' markets, craft shows and pop up events, the weather provides me with a blanket of welcome solitude. Now is my creative time. I can experiment with ideas that have come to me in busier times and must be stored away. My studio becomes a winter sanctuary, where I can look out over the river and truly appreciate the peace and quiet. I turn within myself and don't worry about deadlines. My love of color reawakens, and the challenge of an empty canvas takes center stage. I am reminded of the incredible joy my art gives me every single day. Of course I dream of the springtime, but I am not in a hurry. Winterlude is a time of rest and rejuvenation. It's a hunker down time of early morning journaling and early evening reading. Happy Winterlude to all of you! May this season gift us with peace of mind and a chance to truly focus on everything and everyone we love.

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