Surviving Winter

Mandarin orange peel, cinnamon sticks, candle wax form a new candle.

I am a firebug at heart, especially in December. Winter is not my favorite season. My childhood was spent far too close to Siberia, so I had enough snow to last me a lifetime.

But there are ways to fight the cold. Ambient sounds of a fireplace, as well as spicy, roasted smells and tastes do bring imaginary warmth to alter the perception of the weather outside just enough. I’ve been drying and roasting rice for genmaicha teas and preserving mandarin orange skins: dried halves make good candle holders and thinly sliced and dried they are a wonderful addition to chai tea (I have a ginger mix that calls for more spice).

The roads here aren’t iced over yet but they will be soon and there are plenty of snowstorms yet to come. The days are dark around the edges, and are growing noticeably shorter with each week. But I will beat this, I always do, as long as there’s plenty of human warmth to share.