14 January

Rest and renewal. This is the time of year when we don’t tend to stray far from home, we don’t exactly hibernate but, like the bears and the hedgehogs and all the other mammals that bed down for the winter, we slow down, conserve our energy and plan for the spring.

Look outside, the trees are bare, their leaves long gone, the flowers have long died back and most of the offerings from the vegetable patch are root vegetables, warm underground like the bears and the hedgehogs.

But the trees are not dead, the bulbs underground are preparing to burst forth, the seeds in the greenhouse are germinating. Nature is very busy at this time of year. Busy preparing for spring. She is hibernating so she is ready to renew with vigour in spring.

We can learn a lot from Nature, and the art of hibernation and preparation for renewal is one of her greatest lessons. Spend time in your corner, read that book that you have had on your bedside table, practice five minutes of yoga, go to bed a little earlier. Look outside and see the beauty of Nature and realise that you too can achieve the miracles that she does. But you have to prepare, you have to rest if you are to renew.