Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Katherine May

An intimate, revelatory book exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down.

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Book Information

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: 11/10/2020
Pages: 256
ISBN-13: 9780593189481
ISBN-10: 0593189485
Language: English

What We're Saying

December 03, 2020

These are the 40 books we found represent the year best in one way or another. They help us make sense of the challenges 2020 has presented us with, understand the depths of the existing cracks it has exposed in our society, and offer solutions to solve the many truly monumental challenges we face—together. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 31, 2020

We will be announcing the overall winner of the 2020 Porchlight Business Book Awards on January 14. Until then, we are taking a look back at the books in contention for the award. Today, we have the books in the Personal Development & Human Behavior category, and a look inside the one we chose as the best among them. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 17, 2020

Ranging from the nature of work and creativity to the foundations that our communities, business models, and economics are built upon, each of these books resonates strongly with 2020, a year like none other. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

"Every bit as beautiful and healing as the season itself. . . . This is truly a beautiful book." --Elizabeth Gilbert

An intimate, revelatory book exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down.

Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.

A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May's story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.

Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. A secular mystic, May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.

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