sights & sounds

Sights & Sounds For Your Winter Morning

by Maxwell Tielman

Photo by April Valencia.

Photo by April Valencia. PortfolioVSCo | Instagram | Tumblr

I’ve met a few people who classify themselves as “winter people” and I have never quite understood them. Like so-called “morning people,” these rare creatures seem to revel in a time that is especially inhospitable. Bitterly cold, arid, and icy, winter typically finds me holed up inside my home, layers upon layers of knits covering my body. The days that fall between December and March don’t even really register as “real” to me, but seem more as a bleak, purgatorial ellipses between more forgiving months.

That said, waiting idly for spring to come seems like an awful waste of time. As much as I tend to hate winter and its sun-deprived days and subzero nights, I need to remind myself that each season contains beauty — and something worth savoring. To me, the beauty that winter holds is its bleakness. If summer is the drunken party animal of seasons, filled with riotous celebration and explosive color, winter is its sober, harshly minimal counterpart. Winter is subdued. It’s slow. And above all — winter is quiet. I think, if I had to choose, that this is what I love best about winter. Even if you are walking down a bustling city street, all of the sound seems to have been utterly consumed — muffled by the snow, ice, and cold. It’s a time when you can hear your thoughts, a time to let your mind wander, if you let it.

If you need some inspiration to get out of your own winter funk and into a more silence-embracing mindset, here are seven beautiful photos and songs to start your day on the right foot. —Max

Photo by Danika Pariseau

Photo by Danika Pariseau. VSCo

Photo by Eloeil

Photo by Eloeil. Instagram | Shop

Photo by Faber Franco

Photo by Faber Franco. Flickr | Instagram | Tumblr

Photo by Garbhán Myles

Photo by Garbhán Myles. Flickr | SoundCloud

Photo by Drew Amyot

Photo by Drew Amyot. Flickr | Facebook | Tumblr


Photo by Won Seo. VSCo | Instagram

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  • Beautifully put, Maxwell! Though I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘winter person’ (fall’s more my jam season-wise), I don’t mind it all that much. One of my most vivid memories of growing up is walking into the woods behind my house in SE Wisconsin after a heavy snow and laying on a fallen tree trunk, letting the snowflakes fall on my face and enjoying the muffled quiet. As the Danes say, winter can be quite hygge (cozy).

  • I love it when D*S does music posts! For anyone else who’s looking, I found the songs in a Spotify playlist, along with some other songs not on this page. Search Follow > Maxwell Tielman > Public Playlists > SS Winter. Thanks for such a great list! It’s helping me start my (late) morning under warm electric throw.

  • There is something in the beauty of contrast. Growing up in southern California left me with very little seasonal experience, but when I moved to Colorado, I experienced my first real seasonal cycle. And when spring came, I had spring fever for the first time in my life. I ran to the local nursery and bought as many flowers as I could afford. I was crazed. And it hit me how I’d never really recognized the beauty of spring until I had been forced to endure a winter.

  • Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.
    I’ve been practicing living in the moment, being calm, and being quiet. It’s difficult with so many noises and distractions that fill our lives. However, finding peace essential to remember. It’s key to living life.
    I found myself getting lost in each and every one of these photographs and songs. It’s just what I needed this morning.
    Thank you so much.

  • I’m an autumn person. I just can’t handle the cold in winter! I do think winter can be pretty though, especially during the holiday season. Thanks for sharing the pretty photos!
    Kiersten | KiwiCat

  • thanks for the beautiful images and music.
    as I am in southern california and love winter, this helps to fill my winter void. and it is going to be 80 degrees tomorrow!

  • As my life has gotten more full (in a good way), I’ve learned to appreciate the winter season/post-holiday slowdown. I love love love spring and autumn, but in the winter, nature tells me that the lawn does not need to be mowed, weeds do not have to be pulled, and wouldn’t you be more comfortable inside? Once there, I can cozy up under a blanket, give in to a book (or several), savor a cup of hot tea, daydream about my garden sleeping under the dirt, and generally catch up on the little things around the house, all while still having plenty of time to sit and watch my children at play. When spring arrives I am rejuvenated in more ways than one.

  • sights and sounds has to be my favorite section in DS….amazing select of music and photography…great job guys :)

  • Here in Australia it’s summer at the moment. We’re stuck inside for most of the day until night time comes around as it’s so hot outside. Sometimes it feel like you’re walking into an oven when you open the front door. Roll on winter, when I can spend most of the day outside in my garden digging and getting it ready for the spring. Ah I just love wearing my cardigan and tucking into a bowl of hot soup on the couch with my blanky after spending the day out in the cold.

  • I so completely identify with this post! I live in the mountains in France and unlike all the ski obsessed majority I wait desperately for Spring! I too need to find the things to appreciate about winter. Log fires and roast dinners?!

  • Thank you for this post! Love them all – and now in the “early winter” of my life (I’m 63) – I love winter the most for my photography journey. And yes, it’s all about quiet and slowing down – which I embrace.

  • So beautiful pictures! I’m definitely a winter person, others don’t get it when I say that I actually like this gray, cold season. Every season has different meanings of course (for me anyway), and what I really love about winter is that it’s a time for contemplation and recharging – and preparing for new exciting things to come.

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