Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I’ve seen winter

I’ve seen winter, and I don’t like it. There was a time when the challenge of frost and snow and red cheeks and white fingertips spurred me on to embrace the season, accept the threat, and conquer it with sleds and snowballs and earmuffs and the like. I’ve seen winter, and I’ve decided that I no longer like it.

Oh, the beauty of it still attracts me. I can look at it for hours. Pictures of snow and sleighs and a cabin with a snow-covered roof, smoke curling from the chimney, trees bent with the weight of crystals in the form of icicles would fill me with a kind of warmth only surpassed by a real fire in a real fireplace, flames leaping, wood crackling, warmth surrounding me. All of those things brought a smile to my face. Or was it that the cold drew the muscles in my face so tight that it looked like a smile? I no longer know.

I know that I have seen winter, this winter, and that’s enough. I’m ready for blue skies that don’t shine with crystalline brilliance but instead are rich with waves of heat coming off the dry and dusty earth, with light that falls from high in the sky, rather than slanting in from just above the horizon at mid-day. I have seen winter, and I really would be happy not to see any more, at least until next December or so.

When you’ve seen as many winters as I have, you realize that for the most part, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all; one gray sky, one thermometer reading minus 10, one snowflake, well if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen all you need to see. I know, I know: the alternative is unacceptable, too. No winter might mean no spring or summer or fall, and I don’t mean because I am living in a place where the weather never changes. I mean being in a place where I’m not living at all. No, I’m not ready for that. I’m ready for spring.

I want warm sunny days, showers that fall lightly on the earth that smells of renewal and growth, colors no amount of clean white fields and hills can replace. I want shadows that make patterns on the ground caused by fresh leaves on the trees. I am ready to put away the coats and hats and gloves. I’m eager to put the chain saw away, clean the log splitter and roll it into the barn, take the chains and snow blades off the equipment and put the mower back on, put the snow shovels away and take out the hoe and the rake and the pitchfork and the barrow.

I’m ready for green. Aren’t you?

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