Natalie Ogbourne

Winter's Saving Graces


For Yellowstone’s bison, it’s the end of this season that’s most dangerous. They’ve spent the winter foraging for frozen foliage by swinging their heads back and forth through the snow like a bucket on an excavator. After a long winter of burning their reserves and scraping for survival, they’re as depleted as the grass they spend their days searching for. Winter holds on long in the mountains, making the line between when the calendar declares spring’s arrival and the appearance of green meadows especially thin.

There’s a time and a season for everything. We know this. We mostly even believe it. But during this second half of winter, it’s hard to remember. Worn from making the most of small doses of sunlight and having our protective layer of warmth blown right off our bodies, we’re ready for signs of spring.

May I suggest this is as a good time to count the saving graces of the current season?

This is my gathering for winter 2023 so far. While the people, places, things, and experiences on this list find their way here over and over again (I’m looking at you, crock pot and birds), there’s always something new.

cats. snow, and birds * sunrise, Sabbath, and deadlines * fairy lights and bird feeders * at-home dates mailbox walks, and praying friends * tunisian crochet and Friday night pizza * fun conversations and hard ones, too * favorite coffee mugs, sunlight, and dark nights * learning from my kiddos * bedtime fiction or memoir and morning non-fiction * shawarma bowls and the crock pot–always and forever * rescheduling (and also not rescheduling) * knowing when it’s time to quit * Monday morning Zoom prayer pod * wedding planning phone meetings * Trello (How was I so late to this?) * celebrating Christmas, marriages, and birthdays * photo walls and coffee dates * board games and reading lists *

🥾How do you pay attention to what you’re navigating by? Look at the landscape of your life. What gifts and saving graces are about you this winter season? (If you’d like to record yours, I’ve made a simple, no-strings-attached printable just for you. Tuck it into your journal, planner, or your Bible–or anywhere else it would serve you well. Access it here.)

take heart and happy trails ~ Natalie 🥾

I link most posts at Tell His Story and Let’s Have Coffee.