Winter’s Final Day

springmorning

03.19.14  The Spring Equinox happens tomorrow morning.  This is the final day of winter, even as there are snow showers predicted every day for the rest of the week.  On the Earth and Sky blog, they tell us that in the northern hemisphere, “Plants are sprouting.  Winds are softening.”  I don’t see the sprouting or feel soft winds, but the pair of Canada geese, who nest close to the highway at Johnson’s Pond, were standing together this morning on the ice, confident it will soon thaw.  But, it’s really about all that new bright light for us up here, a clear sign that Winter is over.

It’s been a busy first week back at home.  After years of dreaming about having a screened-in porch, we had three pairs of Douglas Fir screen doors made for the wall of French doors in the living room, giving that exposure/sanctuary feeling I’ve always loved about old screened-in porches.  Carl mounted them yesterday and they are beautiful.  Looking up at the house from the lake, they’ve added that vintage lakehouse design element we’re always seeking, and i can’t wait to rearrange furniture in the Summer, from around the fireplace, to the open lake view out the doors.  Like the old storm windows we had in our last old house, they are made to come on and off with the seasons.  They cut out too much of the precious light we covet in Winter.   So, most of the time, they will be down in the boat house, but, like the wicker furniture stored there, it’s such an exciting time of year when we bring them up and set up the porch along the front of the house.  I love the rituals that mark the beginning of each new season.

Also, this week, Don’s father’s house was sold.  All his personal belongings were cleared out during our week in Colorado and, on Monday,  the movers put the furniture into storage for his sister.   The papers were signed and funds wired to the bank just yesterday.  It happened so fast.   He dreaded Winter, so he died on the eve of the Winter Solstice.  At Winter’s close, it is all over.  And, now, here we are at a new season in the rhythm that is life.

In the Nick of Time

Winter will kill me
he said when his son
painfully patiently
talked him out of returning
to Arizona last September.

In the nick of time
he died in the minutes
after midnight on the precipice
of Winter’s Solstice.

On this final day of Winter
his belongings are shredded
sold or given away.
They’ve transferred the bank account
Sealed Navy memories in a cardboard box.

All of him froze
and melted away
in winter.
Just like he told them.

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