“When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves –
Welcome wool sweaters.”
Winter is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. If it hasn’t hit you yet, it will eventually. We mark the start of winter by the first measurable snowfall, and consistent cold and snowy weather. Boot, sweaters, coats and ice scrapers for the car come out and stay out. The smell in the air is snow, and there is no more growth in the garden. Critters are hibernating or are sporting their winter coats.
Yes winter is as inevitable as the sun rising. And with winter, for many, comes the grumbling about the dark, gray days with little sunlight. As I said in my post a couple of weeks ago, Winter’s Gifts, we should look for the good in winter…it’s many gifts. I believe it is one of the most beautiful and introspective seasons thereby allowing me to contemplate its merits, and celebrate the season.
As I was looking back at winter photographs recently, a theme began emerging. Winter does not have one mood, it has many and each one is amazing to behold.
“Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”
Sometimes when winter begins, we see it’s wild side. The howling winds in excess of 40 mph. Snow whipping up everywhere and anywhere. You can’t see a thing, and you know if you have a choice, you are not venturing out. Instead, you are content to sit by the window and look at Mother Nature paint your world white.
And yes, when I have had to venture out in ‘white out’ conditions, cursing under my breath and white knuckled holding on to the steering wheel, I still cannot get over how amazed I am with this white world suddenly surrounding me….eyes on the road Donna! What road….I can’t see the road! AGHHHH!
“Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery- toed slippers of snow,
And we, were children once again.”
Billy Morgan, Jr.
When my heart stops beating, like a baby bird’s after its first flight, and the snow has let up a bit, I am amazed at the beauty now created….a clean slate wholly perfect, fresh and clean. Snow clinging to every plant, every branch, every surface making funny shapes. Showing every fine detail of my garden now nestled snuggly beneath its new white blanket of warmth.
A pale glow in the sky. A winter wonderland that takes my breath away now in a different way. I am transported back to those childhood memories of snowmen, sledding and snowball fights.
“The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination.”
As the sun comes out to play in winter, it reflects off this new polished landscape. Holding every surface captive in its icy grip.
Cold, bright, blue skies create a new palette of color. The snow turns from white to blue. Rainbows appear sparkling in the snow, and fabulous shadows are painted making new pictures to take my breath away again….sometimes because I inhaled the frigid cold air.
And even in the cold air, the sun is warm enough to melt and drip new icicles into creation. A wonder to behold….it must be magic! Wish I could break one off and suck on it…..not anymore now that I know it comes from my roof…ewww!
“Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.”
And as the sun lowers on a winter’s day….at 4:30 in the afternoon mind you…..the snowy landscape is swallowed up creating a new world.
I can see out into my garden in winter even when it is dark because the snow continues to reflect even the little bit of light cast by the moon. It makes different, almost ghostly, shadows.
These early, dark gray days can be the hardest on us as they can stretch out for months. And these are the days I will be focusing on this winter….to not lose myself in the gray.
My winter mantra:
Winter can be a bit long, gray and confining here in the Northeast, where snow can pile up over 150 inches and temps can plunge well below zero. It’s enough to depress even the cheeriest people I know…especially with the many, many, many, many, many deep, dark, gray days that stretch on endlessly. So how am I going to work with the gray this winter?
I found this amazing quote….it seems to sing a song to me that says it really isn’t that long, and there are not as many gray days as you think (maybe I should count them):
“Winter dies into the spring, to be born again in the autumn.”
So I have resolved to make a point to notice the gray days….to celebrate each one. When I see this bleached out, almost colorless landscape, I will be spending more time observing nature. Noticing the birds, listening to the wind as it moves through and across the landscape, venturing out with my camera to grab those unique shots and views around my garden and surrounds. These are the days I will be making my favorite hot delicious home-cooked meals, and warming my toes in front of a fire-place with loved ones. Creating poetry, coloring, reading and clearing the clutter. These will be days for long periods of contemplation too….for dreaming about life, and all I am still learning.
(**most of the pictures here were taken last winter)
Don’t forget to check out the latest issue of RURAL, a free on-line magazine which is the creation of Jen@ The Light Laughed. You can read an excerpt of my story, Winter’s Gifts, in this Christmas/Winter issue of RURAL. I am pleased to be featured in with so many creative and talented folks. You can subscribe to RURAL here.
I hope you will join me to make a point to celebrate winter in whatever way you most enjoy. Read how to join in the celebration below.
Join In The Seasonal Celebration:
As I feel winter’s call, to celebrate this new season coming soon, I hope you will join me. I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of summer to join in too.
All you have to do is write a post between now and December 20th telling me how you are or will be celebrating the new season. Then leave a comment on this post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on December 21st.
I do hope you will consider joining in the Seasonal Celebrations meme as we celebrate the new season arriving soon to your corner of the world.
If you missed my interview of Beth, on my other blog, pop on over….I had a delightful time visiting with Beth.
In A Vase On Monday
Here are a couple of little vases showing some of the last blooms, celebrating the end of autumn in my garden…..
This little jug has one small Rudbeckia that was blooming low on a stem hidden by other plants….and I coupled it with the lavender still blooming in the front garden.
Of course these pink, very fragrant roses were found blooming on the side of the house. I am amazed at how they keep pumping out flowers. And these are not Knockout Roses. I have lost their labels, but one is a climber and the other a bush rose. Again a bit of lavender and a few fern fronds found blooming in the protected shade of the house.
As winter is banging on the door now, I will be looking for surprise blooms and other garden materials to arrange in a vase….possibly those that show the declining garden.
I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepared these vases you see here: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday. Please check out these wonderful blogs and link ups.
Next up on the blog:
On Monday, I will have my November garden wrap up. It was quite a month.
I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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