Wisdom in Winter

By Alyssa Nicole

   

Sometimes, I imagine what it would be like if seasons had souls. If they were personified, in my mind, each would have very distinctive personalities. Spring would be a spritely young child frolicking joyfully in the rain. Summer, a fair maiden reclining languidly by a shimmering stream. Autumn an ebullient goddess setting the world ablaze in enchanting beauty, and Winter an introspective wise woman creating herbal tonics and filling empty books with her immeasurable knowledge. Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once said, “Wisdom comes with winters.” Perhaps for him, the seclusion and isolation of the year’s coldest months provided an inspiration for him to pen some of his greatest works.   

Winter provides the perfect setting to delve deeper into your own mind. Heavy snows and frigid temperatures often leave one housebound, a forced pause on the chaos of everyday life, where autopilot becomes the standard setting.  

For me, it is a time to cocoon myself in my red knit blanket, clutching a warm mug of creamy cocoa, dreamily watching as a calligraphy of steam curls above it. It is a time for leatherbound books with gilded pages, quiet contemplation, and museful philosophizing. So much can be learned through the written word. A simple passage can be a key that unlocks powerful profundity. It does not matter whether you’re inspired by the esoteric imagery of Plato, the flowery language of Jane Austen, or the simple rhymes of Seuss. The point is to find books that resonate with you and read them.  Immerse yourself in the words, write your own thoughts and reflections in a beloved journal until your fingertips are stained with ink. Consider your own perspectives in comparison to that of the author or their characters. Can you expand upon them? Can you see something in a completely different light? Do you have your own unique interpretation beyond the pages before you? Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimension.” And what better time than winter to broaden your inner horizons? Books are a treasure trove, brimming over with sparkling sagacity.   

Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom that I have uncovered over the years:  

“It is only with the heart one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antione de Saint-Exupery “The Little Prince”  

“Not all who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien “The Fellowship of the Ring”  

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” Jane Austen “Sense and Sensibility”  

“There’s no use to going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carroll “Alice in Wonderland”  

“I went looking for dreams outside of myself and discovered, it’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it.” L.M. Montgomery “Anne of Green Gables”  

“Perhaps it is controlling the chaos within more than controlling the chaos without.” Erin Morgenstern “The Night Circus”  

“Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.”  Epictetus “The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness” 

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”  Carl Sagan  

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies” Aristotle   

Weave wisdom throughout your life and let the poignancy of your thoughts take you on many an inward journey to amazing destinations!   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

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