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Perhaps one of the most famous quotations from literature over the years has been that of Richard II in Shakespeare’s Hamlet…”Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by the sun of York”. Over the years it has often been used to signify feelings of gloominess and discontent in the gray winter months that often seem never-ending.

I confess to having been one such person at times in my life. It was easy at times to feel as if the grayness of winter would never stop. Despite the desperate attempt to see the hope of spring, the cold gloominess of the winter would often seep into my bones and my heart. I would often spend winters hunched over into myself, trying to seek joy and warmth in any place I could.

Not so this year… for this is the winter of my content!

When the decision was made to winter here at the campground after I sold the house, I often heard “Aren’t you going to be lonely?”… “Won’t you feel isolated?”.  I would remain here whether there were campers or not in the middle of the country. I’ve always been rather self-sufficient in the entertainment department, but I have to admit I did wonder about it at times.

I shouldn’t have wondered. For this has been a winter of the most amazing contentment I’ve  felt in a long time! While there have only been a handful of campers who’ve graced me with their presence since Thanksgiving, there are a multitude of deer and pheasant who come to visit each day and hunting dogs who stray from the fields to check out the smells of my dogs. The hummingbirds who delighted me with their antics last summer have been replaced for now with the chickadees and woodpeckers who make me laugh at their antics on the suet feeders. There are walks to the lake where I feel God’s presence close at hand. Harley both amuses and infuriates me with his daily food territory wars with Laddie. There are books to read and Facebook to play on and a zillion blog posts in my head to write. There are trips to town for the mail and groceries in case of the need for human contact. Or better yet, a trip into the city for lunch with dear friends. There is a multitude of things to occupy my time, and there is freedom… the freedom to discover contentment in it’s simplest forms.

As I sit at the table and write this, the fog is wrapping itself thickly around the trees obscuring the lake from view. Winter is far from over. Harley lays on my feet and gives off a heavy sigh of contentment as he snores not so quietly. The coffee is hot, the music is good, the camper is warm and filled with the smell of supper cooking… I cherish it all knowing that it will be gone too soon with the advent of spring.

In a way I will miss it until it comes again…. for this IS the winter of my content!