Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Wintering Part Two

November is the month we celebrate my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, and while I am not a big fan of holidays in general (except my birthday which I realize is not actually a holiday for most), I am partial to this one as it has escaped (mostly) the commercialization beset upon others, involves wonderful food and family. But primarily because it provides a subtle reminder (or not so subtle smack in the face) of how grateful we should be for all that we have.

Its also when daylight savings ends this year, when time is re-calibrated to a changing rhythm of the earth; our clocks re-arranged. The night (really very early morning) we are returned the lost hour from spring. We now face a revamped sunrise, an extended evening. Our 24 hour day adjusts and we re-balance.

November is also the last gap month to wrap up outdoor projects; cutting down and digging up roses, preparing the front garden for new plantings, removing leaves and dead stuff. And, weather cooperating, priming my newly scraped garage, prepping it for a spring painting. No matter the success rate, come Thanksgiving, I will be hanging up my yard utensils and will begin to set the stage for my very own version of hibernation.

Last year I wrote about “wintering”, a term I picked up from the writer and naturalist J. Drew Lanham. It has become one of my favorite pastimes. This year, however will look somewhat different as I prepare for my teaching denouement. I am just weeks away from closing my studio and along with the advent of the holiday season driving the times, I am striving to maintain my equilibrium during the rocking and jolting that occasionally want to take over my thought processes.

In anticipation of shorter days, snow and cold, I am lining up my soup recipes, filling my glass pantry containers with grains and rice. My warm weather clothing is closeted for the winter, my down comforter hauled out. The transitions I need to make for “wintering” my home and life are moving smoothly ahead.

Age may be influential here, but I seem to approach life more cyclically now. As we embark upon the season for pulling inward from the overactive outside world, I’m spending more time in discernment and reflection, paying more attention to my own inner universe. Active contemplation.

I look ahead to sewing projects, anticipate the challenge of my 1000 piece puzzles, the conjuring up of new recipes, a re-configuring of my living spaces and as always, tackling my towering pile of books. I also imagine life after December 14th. A wide open territory to be roamed and discovered, stopping to take things in when the urge arises or veering off towards a fresh opportunity. Like a surprise I know is awaiting me. Like a gift I cannot wait to open.

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