Today the weather is sunny and mild. The snow is melting into the lawn and disappearing quite nicely--- (excuse me while I pause to wave goodbye). Last week we had a few mild days that definitely held a promise of spring. I opened the windows and cleaned a few more corners and relished the milder weather—but didn’t get too excited....winter always teases us with a little thaw, and then gives us another swift kick up our “sit-upon”. We definitely felt it this week, with freezing rain and blowing snow making life miserable.
I have always had mixed feelings about winter. I love the heat and dancing flames from the woodstove. There is a coziness to the shorter days and longer lamp lit evenings spent reading, or watching the snow come down. I love making soups and homemade bread to warm and feed the little bellies I care for. Playing board games with the school kids and cuddling in blankets and watching movies with the toddlers.
I stood at my open door one night last week and watched in wonder as the snow came down like sugar, it was so quiet I could hear it landing---and was tempted to reach down and taste it. I took a deep breath letting my lungs fill with cold air purified by the snow---so delicious you can’t possibly take a big enough whiff. Another day I was delighted for the kids as it fell in huge flakes that lay heavy on the ground just begging to be made into a snowman or fort.
I have good memories of snow and winter as a child. Making snow angels with my sister Donna as big fat flakes fell on our faces, and laughing as they fell into our open mouths. Other times I remember lying still on the ground watching the stars in that huge velvet sky, the warm smells and comforting sounds coming from the open door of the barn as Dad and the boys finished the evening chores. As children my siblings and I would go sliding with half a dozen neighbors and stay out until our feet and fingers ached from the cold. Mom would sometimes warm us by letting us wrap our arms under her cardigan and around her waist. I remember windows etched with fern and feathers compliments of Jack Frost.
However—you know the saying there is a thin line between love and hate? Most of the time the line is as thin as the depth of my back door--2 inches. The things I truly enjoy about winter can be enjoyed from the inside of the threshold---including those icy cleansing breaths.
I sometimes wish I was of a species that hibernates—sometimes I wish I could revert to childhood. As I look out the window to grin and thumb my nose at winter and the melting snow, I realize the child in me is winning. Next year I vow to make a snowman. Snow-angels? Not with these hips.