Hilltown Families


While in the summertime it seems easy to explore a multitude of activities, the wintertime provides the space for quieter activities, new hobbies, or creative outlets that encourage reflection. The intense winter storms and their impact on travel keep us inside to discover new activities or pastimes. Winter days feel quiet and reflective as our time indoors beckons us to think more about how to spend our time intentionally. Let’s take a look at the art of letter writing and how Epistolary Novels can help us connect our interest in correspondence with literature.

Snow can make you feel as though the world has stopped around you. During snowstorms, travel is suspended, and, for a day or two, the quiet of the outdoors reminds us to simply enjoy the moment and to be mindful. Here are several resource centers, peaceful places, and class ideas to connect you to the quietness inside through your community during the winter months.

Poet and Cummington native, William Cullen Bryant, was very much influenced by the landscape of the Western Massachusetts Hilltowns of his youth. In fact, Bryant’s “A Winter Piece” is a reflection on this time of year. The poem is a meditation on this season, and one to read on a quiet winter’s day or perhaps before a winter walk in the woods. Here we share a link to the poem, inviting you to read the poem and then visit the very location that inspired this great poet.

How does winter stillness connect us to place? What activities and hobbies reoccur every year? What skills have been shared and passed down through the years because of New England winters? How does the stillness of winter impact our emotional well-being and interconnections. Can the art of letter writing keep pace with modern day letter writing? How can we practice this art in the winter months? These questions and their answers lead us toward the answer to the question, how does winter stillness connect us to place?