The Long Winter

My friend who shares my name, Bethany Rose, called me last Tuesday morning from somewhere up in Minnesota, where she was bundled and walking her Great Pyrenees named Shiloh.

“We’re experiencing a warm front,” she said. “It’s twenty-five degrees today.”

I was planting a tray of lettuce on my patio in Missouri, because we were basking in a warm front, too: Sixty with sun. While I mixed dirt in a big Rubbermaid, we talked about the ways we’re wintering this February— how we’ve been ice skating, farming, resting, and reading Little Women.

I could hear her breathing in the cold as she walked. She said there was a grove of dead grasses just ahead, and that she was thankful for winter because she has battled Lyme’s Disease, and in summer, there are ticks in the grass.

I give thanks for good friends like Bethany, who remind me that God made us to winter. Like the squirrels and bears, he created our bodies to slow down and sleep more.[i] “He gives snow like wool” and “scatters frost like ashes” (Psalm 147:16). I tend to think of winter as just the tomb before spring resurrects, so I need friends who are wintering beside me and reminding me: “There’s goodness — resurrection, even — in February, too.”

My poet friend, Esther, is another one of those good people. She wrote last week:

“But I wonder

where are all the poems


the delicate etchings of frost

on winter’s windows, on the morn of a blizzard –

the sweet magic touch of the Maker

who slips the world into an unblemished coat

of the same dark-defeating white

that covers our wrongs

and so

i’m sitting here in february

and asking you to please tell me again

why all the poems are about spring.”

I shared another of Esther’s poems during Advent— and one of Hannah’s too, who emailed me from the Pacific Northwest last week and said:

“Dear Bethany,

Somehow it is February and Advent is long gone. Though in a way, I feel as if winter is just one long Advent season, preparing our hearts for spring.

There’s blessing in dead grass, magic in frost, quiet Advent in winter. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so the more beholders I’ve got for friends, the more beauty I’ll find in the long waiting of a Minnesota or Missouri winter.

Explore more beautiful work from this community here:

[i] CircleMagazine, “Winter Fatigue: Why Are More People Tired During Winter?” (2021, Dec 15),

5 thoughts on “The Long Winter

  1. Sweet Bethany, thank you so much for this post!! Today is the first real warm day of March for us—and I think I will miss the crisp cold, even while I glory in the spread of sunshine over the days to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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