Heavy winter coats dusted in a layer of salt, tall boots, layers of clothes. White winter snow turned a gray mush, and most of the ground just a soggy mess of mud. Around this time of the year, I begin to wonder why anyone would live anywhere it snows. What joy is to be gained. All it seems to be is scraping off the newest layer of ice each morning and needing to plan an extra 15 minutes before leaving so that I have time to put on another pair of gloves, a hat, a scarf, a sweater and a coat. All just to realize (just as I've finished tying my boots) that I need to go to the bathroom, and start the whole thing over again.
I can't tell you why my parents, or anyone's parents, thought raising kids in an environment where it consistently gets below zero for some stretch of the year was a good idea, although it's hard to blame them now that I have chosen to stay in this area.
Luckily we are almost out of the woods. Unluckily, although February is the shortest month of the year, to me it often feels like the longest. And although I am currently feeling disillusioned by winter, I do agree that it has it's moments. Although at the worst of times the perilous weather can leave people feeling isolated, it being too cold to want to go anywhere, or do anything, at the best of times a little solitude can be refreshing, and so I thought (as long as we are stuck with winter anyways) that perhaps we can try and capture a moment of what is worth enjoying about winter.
A crisp world, that seems to be a living painting. The world holding it's breath, just asking to be gazed at on a cool night, as the snow settles in, and we might have the chance to settle in too, with a warm drink, in a warm bed.
So since we still have a ways to go I thought I would share a favorite poem of mine, one that celebrates all winter has to offer.
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" - Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
And just like in the poem, although we may want to take a break, we have "promises to keep". But I hope we can take some time to enjoy the world around us, it may help us as we try and get through the end of this winter, and the "miles to go" before we sleep.