Rounding the corner to the end of the year – review in progress

winterIt is now December and winter is here in full force. The morning temperature on the way to school was – 3 in the heated car. The trees are coated in snow and sitting perfectly posed for a painting. We have just a few days till the winter solstice. It is the corner I look for each year.

Light is what lifts me up and sends me towards spring. So as we stop to celebrate the shortest day of the year I am also looking towards the few minutes we gain each day as we step around that corner. The sun begins it’s slow climb to the northern hemisphere. There are cold days ahead. There is snow coming that will pile up over the sleeping gardens but light begins its journey to the northland and it is time to take those long dark night to review the past year.

Sitting by a fire, tea by my side and a lighted tree in front of me I use these last weeks of December as garden review weeks. It is a chance to think about what worked, what didn’t and what holes need to be filled in around the gardens. The steps after that are to plot out the plants that I will start under the grow light and how soon I can begin them. It is all about light. The perennial plants I can start towards the end of January but everything else needs to wait until early March or later. The planning, ordering and organization begins January first.

Reviewing the garden journals are just a part of bringing the light back around. There is reading the post from my blog I posted this year. It is like my garden journal a chance to think about what worked, what didn’t and what holes need to be filled in around my writing and life.  It helps me think about where I need to nourish my soul and writing.

It is like the compost of my year that feeds what next year will lead to. It is the food for growing. The scraps of writing, the tales I told and the tasks I completed help me see what I learned or need to learn. It is a chance to see what might flower in 2017.  It is a time to think about what activities I might need to trim away to allow more light into other areas of my life.

It is the dark of winter that brings in the spring time light. It is the long nights with little star lights that give us time to slow down and reflect.

Happy Winter Solstice!  Wednesday December 21!


“The night is what allows us to see the stars. Darkness is nothing less than a thousand sunlights.”
― Tiffanee Dee Duran





About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Rounding the corner to the end of the year – review in progress

  1. arjeha says:

    I also look forward to the days getting a little longer. Love your garden analogy. It is always good to review what worked in our lives and what didn’t. Here’s to a bountiful Spring and Summer when gardens and lives will be in full bloom once again.

  2. Ramona says:

    Not a gardener, except for the tomato plants I grow in containers on the driveway. But I have such respect for the gardeners in the world. And I love reading about this time that you use to plan and dream. Love how you use this “rounding the corner” time to think about “where I need to nourish my soul and writing.” Great reflective post.

  3. Cathy says:

    Oh my. I always think I am a step ahead if I think of my garden by April….and here you are getting started already! I sure did learn a lot reading your post. It seems you’ve found a way to carry spring with you across the wintery season.


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