It’s staying lighter longer each day around here. After we passed the winter solstice, the shortest day, it began to happen ever so slowly. But here we are, less than a month later and we can see the difference. It won’t be long before these cold winter days will morph into the blessedly brief mud season and then comes spring. I need to stay in winter, present in this time. After autumn, winter is my second favorite season. It’s one of the more challenging ones; ice, snow, bitter cold, biting winds, but beautiful and so very much of this place. I strayed from New England, but only once, only briefly and scurried back to the six state region that feels like home. And this region has winter. I’ve never been one to crave a “summer” vacation in winter. Oh sure, I daydream about swimming in a pool, drenched in sunshine, but I never hunger for the trip south to Florida or the Caribbean in January or February. Besides, with summer my least favorite season, why would I suddenly insert a chunk of it into winter?
Nope. Shrug on another sweater, pull on the wool socks. Think tea and cocoa, soups and stews. Step outside into the still winter air. Exhale the cloud of warm body/warm house breath and marvel at seeing the invisible. Listen for the black capped chickadees. Wait, they’re never far away. There they are: ”chick a dee dee dee dee dee” as they flit from branch to branch. The first winter we lived here, I stood statue still, my outstretched palm filled with bird seed as the tiny chickadees circled. After many frozen moments, just before I thought I would give in to fatigue and frustration, one landed, feather-light on my finger, little claws gripping, bobbed its head, snatched a seed and darted away! I wanted to squeal with delight, but remained still, grinning from ear to ear, fatigue forgotten, as it happened again and again. I felt like the princess in the Disney films, animated little birds singing above my head, tying ribbons into bows to transform the mere mortal girl into something magical.
Be here now.