Spring was promising, summer was buzzing, fall is here and winter is coming.
For some of us, that means boots, gloves, ski, and slopes. For others, it means it’s time to escape to warmer climates towards Asia or Africa. Who is left? People like us, who love to experience every season and go with the flow.
As fall arrives, it gets us reflecting on time passing. In rural areas, like the Devon Countryside in the UK or the Tuscany Forest in Italy where we moved more or less recently and now run our coliving spaces, we are witnessing the seasons like never before and appreciating being led by their rhythm rather than trying to take over the driver’s seat.
Our society overall seems to be a fear of unplanned and unfilled time. We pack our agenda, jam our Schedule, and say we don’t have time anymore for reading, thinking, grabbing a coffee in front of a beautiful view, chatting with someone… or whatever other activity we crave but never makes it to the top of the to-do list.
There is something about the winter that invites you to take a step back and hit the breaks, maybe it is the colder weather, maybe it is the end of the year approaching. It is a more reflective time and it might bring some challenging emotions.
But together, as a community, those are easier to ride.
It’s in the moments we experience challenges (and in many places, winter really was a challenge in the past) that we deepen connections and friendships as we support each other through transition times, we create unforgettable memories.
Community literally comes closer together as it gets colder. Nothing draws people in like a fire, and winter is the time for great fires. The kind that warms up the room and the soul. As a community we naturally gather around it and share stories of the year and loosely plan for the year to come. We share what we’ve learnt, the thoughts we’ve had, what happens if we slow down, and what happens if we observe nature.
Once a friend told us that to learn about a tree, to understand how it lives, we would have to simply sit in front of it for a full year.
The leaves that fall on the ground under the tree protect the roots and soil from winter frosting, energy is stored in the roots and not wasted. Microorganisms slowly degradate the leaves preparing good nutrients for the spring, when the days will get longer and the sun will awaken the tree again. But even in winter, the sun is giving us energy, and vitamin D, and heats the tree trunk.
And if take a step back, we notice the tree is not alone, it is in a community of plants. Share resources, and information about the climate and solving problems.
Winter in a European country, in rural areas on top of that, might not sound too appealing at first.
Cold, wet, dark? But we who have been through a few winters already see it as a time for great re-inspiration and re-energization as we take long walks through beautiful landscapes, reflect, rest, write, paint, craft, get our hands dirty, let our creativity go wild, and simply, slow down.
So if like us you have a love for cozy, crispy weather, jumpers, and chestnuts, we invite you to check out our winter colivings in Italy and the UK.
And remember, it is not by chance that spring comes after winter. What will spring from your winter?