02.05.14 I don’t know how to photograph this kind of cold. I’m content to just stay indoors and study the light coming into the house as the day moves along. Ground Hog Day was three days ago, or Candlemas, as it’s called in ancient cultures. I love that word. In the Catholic tradition, candles were blessed by the priest and brought back to the home to serve as talisman to ward off disasters. Midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, who couldn’t use a good luck charm, especially as Old Man Winter pummels so much of the country right now. In many traditions, Candlemas is considered an early beginning to Spring and a time to carefully creep out of winter’s hibernation. The ground-hog is brave enough to come out and check for his shadow.
It doesn’t feel like a time of new beginnings when it’s this cold and this snowy. I’ve saved a poem somewhere which begins with, “April is the cruelest month…”. And, I’ve complained a lot in April when it’s cold and blustery with driving rains, feeling like summer is so near yet so far away. April may be frustrating, but, in February, one could lose hope, and that’s a terrifying place to dwell.
So, I study the changing light. There is so much more of it at the end of the day. And, with the sun shining on these bitter cold days, there’s a sharpness in the light at 3:00 in the afternoon that’s been missing for many months. Very soon this month, I will hear the trilling of the male red-winged blackbirds, returning weeks before the females, in the cattails and marshy areas where I walk and run. But, it will be a long time before I spot something green. Sigh…best to download NPR’s “cabin fever playlist”, settle in by the fire at night, and watch and wait, watch and wait.