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February 15 - Welcome to a Week of Practices Inspired by Seasons - Beginning with Winter

As I think about seasons, I notice how we have seasons from different traditions that inform our lives and our days. One thing these traditions have in common is a marking of the new year and new beginnings in the cold and darkness of winter.

We will start with winter today as we begin to think about seasons in our lives. I recently listened to a podcast with Katherine May, author of Wintering: the Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. She spoke about the symbolic use of winter in literature for times of transition. This can be seen in fairy tales as well as in the Narnia series where the children pass through the wardrobe into a snowy winter scene.

May says of winter, “It’s a time for reflection and recuperation, for slow replenishment, for putting your house in order. Doing these deeply unfashionable things - slowing down, letting your spare time expand, getting enough sleep, resting - is a radical act now, but it's essential.”

I am interested in reflecting on how we experience winter and what images it evokes. I am also curious to know how winter is experienced in different places. For example, when I lived in Southern California, the temperature did not change much so the change in daylight hours marked the winter season for me.

I welcome you to share images based on the unique way you experience winter in your home and natural environment.

Practice - Representing Shapes, Colors and Textures of Winter

Similar to our first week focused on the hours of the day, this week we will focus on seasonal depictions based on the colors, shapes and textures associated with each season.

You might think of the shapes and crunchiness of ice crystals as I did this weekend in the midst of freezing rain. Or you might focus on vegetation and think of the dry brittle shapes of dead and dormant plants.

See below for an example of an accordion book based on the seasons and a few images of winter.

Inspiration from Art: Clare Walker Leslie

Clare Walker Leslie has been keeping a nature journal since 1978 and is also the author and illustrator of numerous books about nature journaling. One of my favorite practices from her books in a color record of the seasons and months of the year. See below for examples from her most recent book, A Year in Nature: A Memoir of Solace and read more about Clare Walker Leslie here on her site.

Thank you for being a part of this newsletter community.

Thank you to everyone who has been sharing images and creations.

Please feel free to share anything you are noticing or creating.

Respond to this email or share on Instagram with hashtag #papercolorearth

Thanks, Kathryn

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