Seasonal Reflection: Winter at Dancing Rabbit

Alyssa knitting in her cozy natural home. Photo by Bear.
Alyssa knitting in her cozy natural home. Photo by Bear.

Life at Dancing Rabbit is deeply and inherently tied to the seasons. In the spring, we watch the earth wake up and wake up along with it. We plant our gardens, begin building our homes, and we happily venture outside. In the summer, we host a lot of visitors, spend the bulk of our days outside, play in the pond, and work hard. The fall brings both beautiful weather and a sense of urgency. We are preparing for winter, finishing projects, harvesting food, and saying goodbye to our seasonal visitors. Then, like a much needed deep breath, winter is when we finally slow down. We take cues from the earth and cold weather and go inside. This is the season I cherish.

In order to have the stamina to survive the busy warm months, I need winter. Like the bear, I sleep more, catching up on those hours spent laboring through the summer. I find solace in quiet activities such as knitting, sewing, reading, and cooking. I revitalize my body and soul.

During those long, dark nights, I also find time to think ahead. The winter is when I organize my year to come. I pore over seed catalogs and envision the garden. I discuss and design my various projects for the year. I imagine and dream.

An integral part of living in community, I connect more deeply with those around me during the winter months. I have more time to cook and enjoy sharing meals with friends and neighbors. Not always on the go, my conversations are richer and my connections are deeper. While enjoying the harvest from the previous year in the form of frozen, dried and canned goods, I reconnect and feed my heart.

Winter fun! Alyssa's son Zane sledding over a jump. Photo by Bear.
Winter fun! Alyssa’s son Zane sledding over a jump. Photo by Bear.

Yet even in winter, I still find time to play. Winter play is different than play during other seasons. I bundle up to sled, ski and play on the frozen pond. I find joy in sharing these activities with my community, in being outside together despite the weather. I complete puzzles and play card and board games with my son. I keep my body and mind awake and alive!

I enjoy the seasonality of my life. Each season feeds and nourishes different parts of me. Right now, in the throes of winter, I see winter as a healing balm for both my heart and soul that helps sustain me throughout the rest of the year.

Alyssa Martin has been living a rich life at Dancing Rabbit since 2006. She spends her time gardening, homeschooling her young son, serving pregnant women and their families via her work as a Certified Professional Midwife (www.homebirthnaturally.com), dancing, playing ultimate frisbee, knitting, and loving life in a vibrant community.

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