It’s easy to be pessimistic about winter, and on one hand — why wouldn’t we be? In Grey/Bruce, winter is hard. It’s not easy to navigate local roads caked with ice and snow, and none of us is fond of shovelling our driveways when the weather flares up.

Winter is particularly difficult for people with mobility issues, and health conditions like arthritis that seem to get worse in cold temperatures. It’s also easy to become isolated and see our mental health decline if we are stuck inside all the time.

In winter, self-care is extremely important. We need to know our limits and not push too hard. We also need to keep our minds occupied — perhaps with a good book from the library, an active hobby or a game like chess.

It’s also important to connect with other people when we can.

I don’t want to minimize the limits winter places on us, and I’m certainly not here to tell you it’s easy. But I wanted to share with you an insight from the British writer Edith Sitwell I happened upon as we sent this issue of Boomers to press.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire,” she wrote. “It is the time for home.”

Yes, winter can oppress us. It spoils certain kinds of fun. It keeps us cooped up inside. We can see it that way, and perhaps we should.

We can also see it as an opportunity to enjoy our inner lives — the lives we can escape to in novels or in the small pleasures that are most effectively felt at home. Not everyone enjoys warmth, fellowship and good food over winter, but most of us do.

Winter is a time to take note of this, and to be thankful. It’s also a time to reach out to those who are less fortunate, and do what we can to help.

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