Photo courtesy of Dr. Susan Pigott

Until the past couple of weeks, I was dreading the coming of the dead of winter. I thought, if I’m feeling this depressed, anxious and unsettled now, then how am I going to feel when it’s the darkest and dreariest time of year? Am I just going to fall apart?

You know the feeling–the darkness, the ball of anxiety in your stomach, the deep sadness. The not-being-able-to-handle listening to the news because you don’t want to hear about anything else bad in the world and you just can’t deal with it anymore. Every house you pass on the street depresses you because you know there are problems of some sort inside. An extreme focus on the negative accompanies you all day long. It’s like someone’s stripping the skin off your soul.

But I haven’t felt that feeling in weeks. And I’m still holding my breath, but now when I think about wintertime I can see the solemn beauty that I could always recognize easily before.

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Here are a couple of winter songs I love…they capture the somber, quiet, peaceful joy that accompanies the cold stillness of the season. I hope I never forget how important finding stillness is during this time of year.

Christmas Canon by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra:

Winter Snow by Audrey Assad feat. Chris Tomlin (make sure to hear the lyrics):

The first one gets me with the combination of the music and kids’ voices, but the second one has really good lyrics. We celebrate the advent of Christ this time of year–his coming. Our God became human not like a mighty storm or a rushing wind, but like a winter snow. She doesn’t explain anything beyond that, just lets us contemplate what that means for ourselves, which I love. So much Christian music is painfully obvious in its message, which is terribly sad, because it doesn’t take into account the power of interpretation. What makes a good song (according to me) is that it leaves a lot up to the interpretation of the listener–it’s called “art” for a reason, right? Maybe the people who make really literal songs are reading their favorite book a little too literally as well…but I’m overgeneralizing and getting off subject.

Oh…just thought of another winter song.

Actually, that entire album by Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago, is my winter music. It’s just soulful.

I’m trying to reclaim my winter joy and remember that it is often quiet. 

What are some of your favorite winter songs? How do you find peace and joy amidst a crazy busy, yet oftentimes dark and solemn season?


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