Monday, January 7, 2013

Winter: Love It or Hate It?


I am one of those who love it. And I know that for those in the hater category that seems unfathomable. Winter brings darkness, snow, mud, clouds, biting winds, ice. We must bundle up, huddle, hole up, dig in or dig out depending, and slow down.

That is exactly why I like winter. By November I am more than ready to slow down and hole up for a while. Of course, the holidays mean that activity continues for a while longer as we cook, gather together, eat, party, and celebrate. But finally January does come, the merry-making ends, and we are left with---winter.
Mornings dawn late and cold. Frost covers the ground. The birds are at the feeders early and even with their twittering and motion there is a quiet on the land. Slowly the sun crests the ridge, floods the land with white light—and all remains still and frozen. Some mornings the sun does not appear; dark clouds block his face and the world huddles in chilled gray silence.
In my kitchen, the gray light warms to yellow when we turn on the lights. Water flows into the kettle. The gas hisses blue as I put the kettle over the fire. The gas fireplace sends flickering light over me as I sip my first cup of morning tea, wrapped snugly in my robe and slippers. I watch day break through the lace-curtained windows and listen to the twittering birds. Coffee smells filter in as Larry prepares his morning brew. We sit by the fire, tea and coffee in hand, and discuss what we will do on this winter’s day.
Perhaps the temperatures will war to above freezing, or perhaps not. What is a given is that the trees will remain bare skeletons of their summer selves, the flowers will not bloom; under the earth, bulbs might be stirring, seeds swelling, and roots digging deeper but on the surface all is quiet and at rest.
I enjoy the simplicity of this season. I can see the beauty of the trees’ shapes, I can see unexpected views which once were hidden behind green leafy curtains. Icicles sparkle and the frost traces delicate patterns on shed windows. Even the dead weeds take on unexpected beauty in their winter-dried state, adding golden-brown spikes to winter’s gray and white.
I like the enforced inactivity. Gone is the rush of summer, the pressure of spring, the demands of autumn. We can simply do nothing if we choose. Imagine doing that at any other time of year. I can sit by the fire and watch the flicker of flames and simply enjoy that simple beauty. Of course there is still work to be done but the pressure is less because there is no worry about what is not being done in the gardens or the yard while I do other things. I can pick and choose, while in the warmer months I am scurrying to do what must be done.
On this winter’s night I hear a dog barking somewhere, and the whine of someone’s truck crossing the ridge. The only other sound is the hiss of the gas heater and my fingers on these keys. Yes, I like winter. 


14 comments:

Rob Hunt said...

You have a balance in your life and know how to be here now. I really enjoy your blog thanks!

Mamabug said...

I love winter too! I love the bare bones of the woods and being able to see what's really there after it's been covered in greenery most of the year. I love the quiet stillness of a cold, crisp morning. Just wish we had some snow in Florida; it's a very rare occurance for us.

Nance said...

I have a theory about those folks that like winter and those that don't. When is your birthday? I have a daughter that loves winter . . . and I want to explore my theory. My husband adores Fall. I worship summer. : )

Steve Ferendo said...

The older I get the less I like snow. Other than snow and ice, I love winter.

Sue said...

It's good to be able to appreciate every season. And you're right, each one has its own place.

=)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love all the seasons - I seem to rejoice more in spring - but find that there is a time in my life for all seasons. Our winters here are rainy - in the Pacific Northwest, but when we do get the ocassional snowfall it is glorious and grand to behold, and the children all over town (of all ages) run and jump and slide and play, for they know it is not going to last any longer than a week at the most - then back to rain.

Growing up in Southeast Alaska, we had more rain than WA does now - and we played outdoors every day - if we didn't play out in rain, we simply didn't play outdoors, since it rained so much.

A nice cozy day indoors is good too - seems each season has its glory - and there are so many things that winter gives us, and I heartily agree with your feelings - slow dow - enjoy.

Thank you for such a splendidly written and well thought out post - I really enjoyed it, and now I believe I'll have a cup of tea and some toast. "Bread and water can so easily become Toast and Tea" - happy winter!!

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, Rob. I try to be mindful of each day and each little thing in it. Sometimes I manage it better than others.

Granny Sue said...

Well said, Mamabug. I enjoyed Florida the times I visited--the tropical growth, the little towns in the central part of the state were such reminders of one of my favorite books, Cross Creek. Have you read it?

Granny Sue said...

Nance, my birthday is in June. Does this fit your theory? I'm so curious to hear more!

Granny Sue said...

Well, Steve, I guess snow and ice pretty much sum up winter :) But I can understand why some don't like it.

Granny Sue said...

Jo Ann, I bet growing up in that climate is not at all what we might imagine. We think of Alaska as deep deep snow and ice, but your description is not like that. I remember when I once visited Bainbridge Island I was astonished at the almost tropical growth, and it was early March!

Michelle said...

I like the relaxed feel of winter. No lengthy sports practice, etc... I can read by the wood stove at night. For me that is heaven!

Rowan said...

I like winter too - I enjoy slowing down and having chance to think and plan and read and knit.

Anonymous said...

Nance, I would love to hear your theory! My birthday is in June and I. Hate. Winter! In fact, I tried really hard to find something to like about it and I can't. I don't like that everything dies in the fall and then it is too cold to go outside where I want to be. But, this year, I am finding that I really notice the days are longer now and the buds on the trees are swelling. When my Mom was alive, she and I would go do a survey of the yard to look for signs of spring to help us hang on! tm

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...