For some of us the new year is time for a fresh start a new page. Some of us set new goals and resolutions, some we keep and some we don’t. For me January is a time for taking a leaf out of nature’s book and rest, reflect and restore energy so we can grow later.
There is something about the solitude of a quiet winter walk which heightens the senses. There’s something very satisfying about hearing the crunch of boots on a frozen path or a pebble beach. Why not stop a moment to listen to a nearby stream as it flows over the rocks or the winter birdsong. Here in North East Wales we are lucky to have countryside where it is common place to hear a hoot of an owl or a screech of a bird of prey. Wildlife is much easier to see in the stripped down landscape. Migrating birds gather in droves overwinter on lakes and wetlands and estuaries. Did you know that January is also the best month to spot starlings? I am lucky enough to live under a dense forest where starlings roost, each dusk if I time it correctly I am fortunate to witness the beautiful swirling murmuration of thousands of starlings as they head back to roost. It is said 500 birds can pack themselves into one cubic meter and it really a sight to behold if you are lucky enough to see this darkening of the sky with their acrobatic display.
Embracing even just a 30 minute walk during the day is a natural remedy to stress and anxiety. If you are looking for inspiration or to liven up your walk why not pick up one of our Town trails or print them off here. They are packed with interesting facts about our towns perhaps helping you see them in a new light.
North East Wales is also one of the best places to stargaze in Wales, and the night sky is one of the pleasures of winter in Wales. So remember to look up, perhaps wrap up warm with a hot drink and go and sit outside and let your eyes adjust to the wonder of the night sky or go for a walk after dark and watch the night sky come alive. You can read our dark sky blog here.
January is all about finding small pleasures. Choose some midwinter pleasures of watching old films, read a new book, doing a jigsaw, having an afternoon snooze under your favourite quilt, or listen to a podcast. Why not plan something for your home or garden for the spring. Get out the recipe books and the slow cooker to create some simmering aromatic stews. Come in out of the cold to have cuppa by the fire and warm your feet. Whatever your simple pleasure is just be gentle on yourself and others, slowly but surely the days will grow longer and lighter ready for you to unfurl yourself just like a flower in spring.