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Winter Being

by Susana Rutherford

Our guest blogger this week is our good friend, Susana Rutherford. Susana is an artist, nurse and mindfulness teacher who lives on PEI. You can find out more about her work at FirehorseStudios.


I'm sitting down to write this with a cup of my favorite decaffeinated tea from Lady Baker’s. It is their Decaffeinated Earl Grey, made with a Sri Lankan black tea, cornflower flowers and oil of bergamot. As I’ve aged, I’ve become sensitive to caffeine, which is very dull. I find that tea always keeps my mind calmer, and the ritual of a morning beverage is welcome. Having this caffeine free black tea to continue this ritual of mine has been wonderful. My go to mug is a Jessica Hutchinson piece, 16 oz with voluptuous curves and creamy glaze that is both traditional with a contemporary distinctiveness. 

Photo owned by Hutchinson Pottery

I meant to write this last weekend, but if you were paying attention to the Atlantic news, we were socked in with a three or four-day storm, depending on who was reporting and which part of the island you resided on. High winds and snow swirled for three days and nights. We popped out of the house occasionally to clear our exits and shovel footpaths. It should have been the perfect time to settle down and write but instead I felt unsettled, unfocused. Which I attribute to our (small t) ptsd post hurricane Fiona. With the low barometric pressure feeling like it was squeezing the top of my head, I struggled to marshal my thoughts. 

The latter part of the week brought relief. The clouds lifted and on Friday morning, as part of  celebrating my husband's birthday week, we decided to make a snowshoeing excursion. The destination was our little beach cabana on the North Shore. We packed the thermos with tea and some of my husband’s sincerely frightfully healthy oatmeal cookies. As we drove out of town, we both admired the huge drifts visible across the fields and sometimes carved through by the roads. Some of the drifts rose to six or eight feet in places. I glimpsed one drift up against a building that had curved at the top like a tsunami wave frozen in mid curl. Luckily the highways and secondary roads were clear and dry. 

The sun came out. Reminding me that we had passed Imbolc,  the midpoint between winter solstice and the spring equinox. The days are longer, the sun is warmer, and the promise of a returning spring and summer feels closer. The song sparrow is singing his territorial chorus.  At the same time, it was a perfect winter day. Temperatures were cool enough for skiing or snowshoeing and the bright sun illuminated the white covered earth under a brilliant blue sky.

When we reached the bottom of our dirt road, which was completely snowed in, we left the car. Strapping on our snowshoes, we picked up our poles and started to make our way across the road that divides two fields. The road is mainly out in the open and along the verge we started to notice rabbit tracks. There were many of them - circling and weaving amongst the tall grasses and low shrubs. Every once in a while, a track (for reasons known only to the rabbits) curved deeply out into the field and then returned to the shelter of the verge. We imagined a moonlit night with the rabbits active and looking for food, finding themselves suddenly beneath the shadow of a swooping owl. 

Continuing up into the woods, the rabbit tracks were joined by the tiny, neat footprints of a small shrew or mole. It's always a pleasure to be reminded of all the life that exists in this wintery landscape outside of our usual human awareness. 


Our snowshoes and our slightly complaining muscles carried us into our cabana, which is still very much under construction. On the sunny deck, we stopped for a break. Enjoying one of my favourite teas, Willow's Dream. Of course, I am prejudiced as this tea was named after my daughter who used to work for Lady Baker Tea while she was in high school. It is a signature blend of black tea, oil of bergamot, organic lavender, and cornflower petals. The medicinal qualities of lavender are widely known as calming for the mind, restoring equanimity.  Listening to the waves breaking on the nearby shore with the sun on my face I was grateful for this moment of joy and peace on a winter's day.




“Such a delightful read! Your blog beautifully captures the essence of winter with its cozy imagery and heartwarming sentiments. From the comforting aroma of freshly baked treats to the serene beauty of snow-covered landscapes, your words transport readers to a place of warmth and tranquility. Thank you for sharing these lovely reflections on the beauty of the season!”

Jennifer Moss

Sounds like a perfect way to spend a lovely winter afternoon! Willow’s Dream is one of my favourite blends too :)

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