It’s a sunny winter’s day as I write from our home in Kimberley and I wish you all a very Happy New Year! My apologies for the delay in offering you my best wishes. I hope that 2020 brings joy and fulfilment for us all, but also much strength for what may come our way.
I’m ever-so thankful that our immediate family was gathered here to ring in the new decade… all of us under one roof for the first time in two years! In the midst of Christmas preparations, shopping, and champagne popping in the morning before gift opening… not to mention exuberant gaming, fireside chatting, mulled-wining and dining, I’ve also pondered on how much this location has shaped our family time this season.
We’ve hosted family and visitors from Vancouver, as well as long-lost friends from Australia, and in the messages penned in my well-worn guest book I read echoes of my own sentiments.
‘There is no shortage of love, laughs, and activities here in Kimberley.’
‘We’ve enjoyed so much of what makes Kimberley very special.”
”Kimberley is beautiful… I now know why you love it.’
Yet if you’ve followed me the past year through my musings… you’ll know that transitioning from India, and from a global life of thirty years, to a quaint Canadian mountain town has been a gradual process. But when I see our family and friends delight in what this friendly community has to offer, there’s a feeling of contentment and wonderment. I’m reminded of the many simple joys on our doorstep. As a good friend gently advised this past year… ‘Remember why you first came to this mountain haven and appreciate it for what it has, for the many ways that it can fulfil you, don’t rue what is missing.’
I’ve mused on that statement often… when I’ve missed the vibrant chaos of India, the lively piazzas of Italy, or the charm and colour of Malaysia. I appreciate that you might be reading this from your home in tropical climes, perhaps never having experienced cold and snow – today’s -15 degrees might be hard to fathom! This snowy landscape is indeed special, even a little mysterious, as messages from some of you have hinted.
Can winter be long, frightfully cold and dark? Yes, though thankfully this area is particularly sunny, even in the winter. Can the roads be treacherous and snow-clearing of driveways and decks a constant task? Yes again… but if you love winter, this is the place to come. Here, it’s all about the ample winter activities, the sweeping majestic scenery, and the simple vignettes of our frozen landscape.
I don’t always enjoy the cold, but appreciate it for for the landscape it faithfully sculpts each year. For the beauty, for the senses that are awakened, for the activities that the cold and snow provide. And the more we embrace this, the more I realise what a gift it is to welcome our family and friends into this winter oasis.
I’ve been mindful to soak up many of the simple pleasures over the past weeks and I’m delighted to share some wintery postcards with you. Call it the subtle art of finding shapes and patterns in nature, and just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two days are alike in winter. Footprints in the snow obscure with fresh falls, lines of a snow-angel soften from wind blown flakes, frozen lakes transform to skating rinks, ski hills are groomed and preened. Champagne powder piles high on rooftops, nestles on firewood stacks, bends the limbs of statuesque snow-laden pines, and obscures the green of nival flora. And the serene of quiet trails are guarded by frost-decorated trees.
Patterns also form uniquely in crystalline sculptures hanging from my front porch. Icicles inch steadily downwards here each winter as the temperature dips and climbs and melting snow drips slowly down translucent rods, frozen before the fall. I am fascinated by these natural sculptures of such intricate beauty.
Beyond the gentle appreciation of nature, is the more active… snowshoeing, skiing – both cross and downhill – skating and yes, even snowman building! The joy of them all is the time shared with others, or spent in peaceful solitude. Whatever climate and landscape that you may find yourself in, I encourage you to find new ways to appreciate your surroundings. Savour the subtle, relish the dramatic, but if you’re yearning for a winter’s adventure, I know where you just might find it!
Wherever you may be, I wish you a beautiful beginning to the year and leave with you my favourite wintery postcards… Happy New Year dear readers!