Winter in the Mournes

whitedress-11If each of the seasons was to be given a color then spring is obviously green, summer is golden, autumn is rust, and here at least, winter is brown. I used to live somewhere that had a white winter—crisp and tinged blue, but taking on a soft almost pastel palette in snow that sparkled in daylight and glowed purple and blue in the evenings and night. I used to enjoy wandering around the streets of my town on snowy nights, taking a few pictures in the dark, but mostly enjoying the way the streetlights reflected off the snowy streets and turned every house into a fairytale scene. Here though winter is brown. The heather that turns purple in late summer still sends up hardy branches but the color has been stripped from them. The fields and forests are blanketed in leaves and grass turned brown and withering and often filled with muddy puddles. whitedress-9 whitedress-6-side whitedress-20 whitedress-30Did I mention brown would be one of my least favorite colors? I mean honestly, who would have brown as a favorite color? Apologies if you do love brown, but perhaps you won’t mind what I said earlier against the color because I do have to admit I’m finding inspiration in brown this winter. In previous winters I loathed this season and the end of the autumn. I didn’t mind autumn’s end if winter was snowy, as I love snow, but snow here is a rarity and instead grey days and a palette of various shades of brown dominates. Perhaps it is our addition of Solomon to our little family that has me embracing this season more. I’m outside more than ever for the sake of his daily walks and I appreciate those grey days of wet and mud because it also means a quieter park and more peaceful chance to roam leash-free with Solomon without worrying about disturbing others. Whatever the reason, this year I find that I actually like brown. whitedress-59 whitedress-49-side whitedress-22 Perhaps also comes down to my constant desire to appreciate what I have, rather than longing for what I don’t have. I used to torture myself looking at pictures in other countries of snowy weather, searching through Pinterest at different locations that seemed to be having the right sort of winter, and planning fictional trips to other places to escape this season of endlessly wet, cold, and decidedly brown days. This year I haven’t done that as much. Instead I’ve explored more of my own region, taking trips to our nearby mountains and peatlands, noticing all the natural textures and warm tones in the landscapes and I’ve found a beauty in it that I never did before. Instead of focusing so much on what I think winter should look like, I’ve taken a hard look at what is around and found it has a quiet elegance I’d ignored. It may not be the epic beauty of a snow-capped mountain or trees that look like they’re covered in white frosting, but I do have coppery fern fronds, rolling hills, and the occasional spark of golden sunlight. whitedress-39 whitedress-13 yellow-9


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