Oddly, January is one of my favorite months. Not only because many of my favorite people celebrate birthdays (Alison, daughter eBh, sister-in-law mLl, and lDd to name a few), but because my world slows down – relatively – leaving me with time to appreciate January’s ability to stimulate the senses.
The white stuff is exquisite in central Virginia because we don’t live with it for months on end. It’s hard to beat a pristine snowfall in the early morning. I can’t wait to see when we get the first one (maybe tomorrow?).
The texture and color of crape myrtles shine during the drab winter. The sculptural nature of a crape that hasn’t been maimed by overzealous pruners adds visual pleasure to an otherwise drab landscape.
Once the Christmas decor is packed away, I am left with a clean slate in my house and a single reminder of the holidays: my annual amaryllis. The fresh simplicity enables me to just relax and breathe.
No leaf blowers blaring outside, no nagging to-do’s running through my head, just the quiet chirp of an occasional bird on a warmer day interrupts the quiet silence of January.
The textures of winter bring me joy: my grandmother’s mink stroller, my flannel pj’s, and my super-warm blanket from my trip to Iceland. January is the ideal month to snuggle up.
Naturally at the beginning of the year I am motivated to experiment with new healthy recipes, like Alison’s stuffed portobello mushrooms. Usually the motivation lasts only a few weeks, until it’s time to get excited for Super Bowl fare like man dip.
Does anything smell more like January than walking through the neighborhood and catching the wafting of a fire from the neighbor’s chimney? The perfect day then becomes complete when you return home from the walk to the smell of soup,
like my white chicken chili, simmering on the stove.
Other months don’t require as much work to find joy, but the subtleties of January’s senses help me transition nicely from the helter-skelter of the holidays to a steadier pace as I begin the new year’s journey. What are your sensational January favorites?
January 5, 2017