Most people have bittersweet feelings about winter–myself included. We associate it with the uncomfortable sensation of the cold nipping at our noses and fingertips; the difficulty of staying awake in long hours of darkness; and the grueling act of shoveling snow and chipping ice off of our windshields.
A wise person once reminded me, however, that no plant blooms year-round. We all need a season to retreat from the world to refresh and recover–even if it isn’t always a pleasant process. I try to remind myself of this on the days that I feel guilty for choosing to read a book under a blanket rather than venturing out into the cold. But all plants lie dormant in the winter–though they might look dead on the surface, they’ll reappear in all of their splendor as soon as the sun returns to the sky. There’s nothing more natural than pulling away from your surroundings for a few months to recalibrate. After all, how else can we maintain the energy we need to be ourselves in a world that’s constantly trying to turn us into something else?Discover #winter quotes, songs & photos to celebrate the season on #featherandflint! Click To Tweet
In celebration of this difficult but undeniably beautiful season, I’ve curated a selection of winter photos (mine) and winter quotes (not mine) that capture the season’s spirit perfectly. I’ve also handcrafted the perfect playlist to provide a soundtrack for snowy nights. Let me know which winter quotes, photos & songs are your favorites!
Winter Quotes & Photos to Celebrate the Season
Winter Quotes – #1: Lewis Carroll
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’”
Winter Quotes – #2: Mark Helprin
“Winter, in its early and clear stages, was a purifying engine that ran unhindered over city and country, alerting the stars to sparkle violently and shower their silver light into the arms of bare upreaching trees. It was a mad and beautiful thing. And what it did to Northern forests can hardly be described. It iced the branches of the sycamores and swept them back and forth until they rang like ranks of bells.”
Winter Quotes – #3: William Paul Young
“There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations and the tyranny of appointments and schedules. One could almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside, where nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly, and unexpectedly, a little giddy. There will be no apologies needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and shares in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry. Even commonplace activities become extraordinary. Routine choices become adventures and are often experienced with a sense of heightened clarity. Even if it’s hardly more than a day or two, somehow each person feels like the master of his or her own world, simply because those little droplets of water freeze as they hit the ground.”
Winter Quotes – #4: Willa Cather
“The pale, cold light of the winter sunset did not beautify—it was like the light of truth itself. When the smoky clouds hung low in the west and the red sun went down behind them, leaving a pink flush on the snowy roofs and the blue drifts, then the wind sprang up afresh, with a kind of bitter song, as if it said, ‘This is reality, whether you like it or not. All those frivolities of summer, the light and shadow, the living mask of green that trembled over everything, they were lies, and this is what was underneath. This is the truth.’”
Winter Quotes – #5: Howard O’Hagan
“Men who have seen snow, who have watched it day by day outside their cabin window coming down from the sky, like the visible remorse of an ageing year; who have watched it bead upon the ears of the horses they rode, muffle the sound of hoofs on the trail, lie upon spruce boughs and over grass—cover, as if forever, the landscape in which they moved, round off the mountains, blanket the ice in the rivers—for them the snow flies. The snow doesn’t fall. It may ride the wind. It may descend slowly, in utter quiet, from the grey and laden clouds, so that you can hear the flakes touching lightly on the wide white waste, as they come to rest at the end of their flight. Snowflakes beat in the air like wings, as if reluctant ever to touch the ground. They were like immense moths winging down in the twilight, making the silence about me visible.”
Winter Quotes – #6: Robyn Sarah
“I grow to like the bare trees and the snow, the bones and fur of winter. The snow piled up on ledges of wall and sill, those grey planes for holding snow: this is how it will be, months now, all so still, sunk in itself, only the cold alive, vibrant, like a wire—and all the busy chimneys—their ghost-breath, a rumour of lives warmed within, rising, rising, and blowing away.”
Winter Quotes – #7: Erica Baumeister
“She looked at the produce stalls, a row of jewels in a case, the colors more subtle in the winter, a Pantone display consisting only of greens, without the raspberries and plums of summer, the pumpkins of autumn. But if anything, the lack of variation allowed her mind to slow and settle, to see the small differences between the almost-greens and creamy whites of a cabbage and a cauliflower, to wake up the senses that had grown lazy and satisfied with the abundance of the previous eight months. Winter was a chromatic palate-cleanser, and she had always greeted it with the pleasure of a tart lemon sorbet, served in a chilled silver bowl between courses.”
Winter Quotes – #8: Malebo Sephodi
“How easy it is to see darkness in the winter shedding and not see that even in its gloominess lies great beauty. That even in our great struggles lies within a great victory. How, then, does the Spring green come about without the fertilization of the Winter brown? Isn’t it the very brown that gives way and life to the green we await to goggle in awe? There is power and sheer beauty in your mess. A true triumphing chaos that renders sweet melodic honey to your journey. So, again, it was whispered to me, ‘Embrace the glorious mess that you are.’”
Winter Quotes – #9: J.B. Priestley
“The first fall of snow is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different; and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found?”
Winter Quotes – #10: Marcel Proust
“Winter was come indeed, bringing with it those pleasures of which the summer dreamer knows nothing—the delight when the fine and glittering day shows in the window, though one knows how cold it is outside; the delight of filling one’s bowl with steaming café-au-lait; the delight of night-time when, having had to get up to go shiveringly to the icy lavatory in the tower, into which the air creeps through the ill-fitting window, we later return deliciously to our room, feeling a smile of happiness distend our lips, finding it hard not to jump for sheer joy at the thought of the big bed already warm with our warmth, the coverlets and blankets which have imparted their heat to the bed into which we are about to slip, walled in, embattled, hiding ourselves to the chin as against enemies thundering at the gates, who will not (and the thought brings gaiety) get the better of us, since they do not even know where we have so snugly gone to earth, laughing at the wind which is roaring outside, climbing up all the chimneys to every floor of the great house, conducting a search on each landing, trying all the locks; the delight of rolling ourselves in the blankets when we feel its icy breath approaching, sliding a little farther down the bed, pulling up the bedclothes to our faces, rolling ourselves into a ball, turning over, thinking—‘How good life is!’”
Winter Quotes – #11: Faith Baldwin
“Look back upon winter with gratitude. Spring is the harvest of the darker months—everything you know starts to grow in darkness. Don’t write and tell me that winter brought you only colds or the ubiquitous virus. Perhaps it did bring those (and to me as well). Who goes through the chilly months unscathed? But it also brought things not to be forgotten—silver moons and snow, brilliant under stars; it brought Christmas and a new year, and to each of us something happy, something unexpected, which was not another problem but a joy. For the pendulum swings; nothing is static; and the road, however long, does turn.”
Winter Quotes – #12: Meia Geddes
“I must remember that the realest things are the closest and farthest away, like the warmth found in winter: the heat hidden in the folds of one’s coat, a lost floating breath, a kiss across the distance of zero degrees.”
Winter Quotes – #13: Barbara Kingsolver
“The tunnel of winter had settled over our lives, ushered in by that great official hoodwink, the end of daylight saving time. Personally, I would vote for one more hour of light on winter evenings instead of the sudden, extra-early blackout. Whose idea was it to jilt us this way, leaving us in cold November with our unsaved remnants of daylight petering out before the workday ends? In my childhood, as early as that, I remember observing the same despair every autumn: the feeling that sunshine, summertime, and probably life itself had passed me by before I’d even finished a halfway decent tree fort. But mine is not to question those who command the springing forward and the falling back. I only vow each winter to try harder to live like a potato, with its tacit understanding that time is time, no matter what any clock might say. I get through the hibernation months by hovering as close as possible to the woodstove without actual self-immolation, and catching up on my reading, cheered at regular intervals by the excess of holidays that collect in a festive logjam at the outflow end of our calendar.”
Winter Quotes – #14: Joyce Sidman
“What do the trees know?
To bend when all the wild winds blow.
Roots are deep and time is slow.
All we grasp we must let go.
What do the trees know?
Buds can weather ice and snow.
Dark gives way to sunlight’s glow.
Strength and stillness help us grow.”
Winter Quotes – #15: Laurie Halse Anderson
“People say that winter lasts forever, but it’s because they obsess over the thermometer. North in the mountains, the maple syrup is trickling. Brave geese punch through the thin ice left on the lake. Underground, pale seeds roll over in their sleep. Starting to get restless. Starting to dream green.”
Winter Quotes – #16: Merrie Haskell
“Winter was necessary. Why else would the world have it? The trees seemed to welcome the season, from the way they changed colors before they dropped their leaves and went to sleep. Winter was a part of a cycle, like day and night, life and death.”
Winter Quotes – #17: Robert K. Massie
“Everything vanishes beneath a deep blanket of whiteness. Rivers, fields, trees, roads, and houses disappear, and the landscape becomes a white sea of mounds and hollows. On days when the sky is gray, it is hard to see where earth merges with air. On brilliant days when the sky is a rich blue, the sunlight is blinding, as if millions of diamonds were scattered on the snow, refracting light.”
Winter Quotes – #18: James Carlos Blake
“The moon grew plump and pale as a peeled apple, waned into the passing nights, then showed itself again as a thin silver crescent in the twilit western sky. The shed of leaves became a cascade of red and gold and after a time the trees stood skeletal against a sky of weathered tin. The land lay bled of its colors. The nights lengthened, went darker, brightened in their clustered stars. The chilled air smelled of woodsmoke, of distances and passing time. Frost glimmered on the morning fields. Crows called across the pewter afternoons. The first hard freeze cast the countryside in ice and trees split open with sounds like whipcracks. Came a snow flurry one night and then a heavy falling the next day, and that evening the land lay white and still under a high ivory moon.”
Winter Quotes – #19: Novala Takemoto
“Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity.”
Winter Quotes – #20: Frederick Buechner
“You wake up on a winter morning and pull up the shade, and what lay there the evening before is no longer there—the sodden gray yard, the dog droppings, the tire tracks in the frozen mud, the broken lawn chair you forgot to take in last fall. All this has disappeared overnight, and what you look out on is not the snow of Narnia but the snow of home, which is no less shimmering and white as it falls. The earth is covered with it, and it is falling still in silence so deep that you can hear its silence. It is snow to be shoveled, to make driving even worse than usual, snow to be joked about and cursed at, but unless the child in you is entirely dead, it is snow, too, that can make the heart beat faster when it catches you by surprise that way, before your defenses are up. It is snow that can awaken memories of things more wonderful than anything you ever knew or dreamed.”
Which winter quotes, photos & songs best capture the season’s beauty, in your opinion? What are your favorite ways to celebrate the season? What are you most looking forward to now that the weather’s turning colder? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. For more gorgeous winter photos, check out my winter Pinterest board below!