January's winter is new and wonderful. This week the beginning of winter's end tries my patience. As my grandson Jonah, another winter lover, says, "I like snowmen but I miss Spring." Below are my thoughts about "season" this month.
The predictable seasonal cycle teaches about constant change. Each winter varies in arrival and departure, temperature, cloud cover, precipitation, and wind. One winter sky is not like another. The new moon on a cold January night brings deep darkness and quiet. Some winter sunsets are brilliant with orange and purple and others are soft and gray. The light of a yellowy sun behind cloud cover reminds me of the color of my Grandmother Catherine's hair. She was born at home on January 11, 1893. I imagine her mother wrapped her in layers in their uninsulated farmhouse.
Snow is enchanting. For a time, it hushes the world.
Winter is about watching - chickadees, a flock of cardinals, tracks of a fox following a rabbit in the snow. This winter is also about waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine. Patience is required.
Winter has a prominent place in many written works. Each interpretation is a gift. In Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, falling snow marked the new beginnings of the main character. When my daughter was little, she liked a picture book called Strawberry Shortcake and the Winter That Would Not End. Snow and ice were forces of evil to be defeated. I can't remember the storyline for sure but I suspect it was a version of the Demeter and Persephone myth. She also loved the way her Dad read the sing-song verse in Happy Winter. In The Bear and the Nightingale, a fantasy by Katherine Arden, the Russian forest in winter is almost another character. While some characters are afraid of winter and the forest, the young protagonist, Vasalisa, is not afraid of either. Wintering by Katherine May is a wonderful reimagining of winter as a time of rest and self-care.
As the February light begins to change, the sky is a brighter shade of blue. The days grow ever longer. Sunday morning a heavy wet snow sounded like rain on the roof. Wet snows of late winter bring a hint of Spring.
Wishing you thawing days, blue skies, and a vaccine in the coming days.
|Icicles from two weeks ago, now melted and gone.|