“In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
– Christina Rossetti
It snowed a tad yesterday, and snow is predicted every day for the remainder of the week, but it’s hard to take it too seriously with temperatures hovering just above the freezing mark. Today’s forecast calls for a 100% chance of rain. Temperatures in the teens are forecasted by week’s end, and a genuine Arctic front is possible next week, but we’ll see. Life is uncertain.
I’ve always thought of January as a pause month–a time-out after the flurry of Christmas, a chance to reset. With Fletcher off to Seattle on yesterday’s early flight, all that’s left behind from the family’s visit is their important documents box, the bins with each of the kids’ mementos, and a bag of boots which were too large to squeeze into the suitcases headed for Finland. The house is now quiet and empty. Someone in my yoga class yesterday asked if I was going home to start washing and ( incredulously, to most) ironing all the sheets. I said, no, I’m just going to rest for a while, “sort it out”, as the Brits like to say.
I’ve just been drinking tea, looking at the water pouring off the roof, reading books, and catching up on some of the lovely blogs I follow from people in faraway places. I’m on hold, for a change in the weather, a new pattern, that moves me forward into Winter’s Time. To be clear, I have not minded one bit that our steep road is without ice, and, we just bought a new/used car, and are waiting for the Finnish studded snow tires on order. It seems like we are in limbo, stuck in place, not sure of what will happen next. That’s how it feels in the world writ large, and it’s one of those times when it’s frightening to open up the computer in the morning to the day’s breaking news. I can’t control that, anymore than I can control the weather. But, maybe if the weather would just change, if there was bitter cold and we were buried in snow, safe at home next to the cozy fire, things would be different. Winter’s wolf at the door is something I know how to reckon with. One can only hope…
I escape into these charming blogs. There’s a young woman who writes from her little cabin in the woods of Nova Scotia, and she begins her January entry:
” If I could choose my favourite types of days throughout the year the first, would be a good snow storm (followed by warm spring days and crisp fall days). Some years I feel cheated by winter. How dare you not give us more snow! But, to be content all I need is a day like today with the flakes falling consistently leaving us stranded in our homes, trees heavily weighed by the wet snow. It was wonderful! I packed a thermos of green tea, my knits for the shop, a camera and headed out to see a transformed world. One where magic undoubtedly underlines every living and inanimate being.”
So very Anne (with an E) Green Gables. And, isn’t it lovely to see the world this way. Another faraway blog I follow comes from Great Britain. The writer is a famous architect (I have both of his books) and he posts photographs of incredible beauty wherever he goes, from his little bothy by the sea in Scotland, an ancient chapel in Dorset with light streaming over the pews, to the interiors of England’s most spectacular architectural wonders. On his January post, “The Turn of the Year”, he writes:
“The slow, gentle rotation of life carries on – and as I’ve thought for ever and ever now, some things get worse, most things don’t change that much at all, and just every now and again – some things really do get a great deal better. It’s easy to lose sight of that in the world in which we find ourselves.”
One can only hope…