Mid-Winter 2022

01.17.22

Bottom line: Enjoy the full-looking moon for a night or two on either side of January 17, 2022, when it brings the northerly latitudes some good cheer on this long winter night. EarthSky

We’ve just passed the mid-point of January now. I know February can be cold and snowy, but the returning light will slowly start to show itself on Candlemas, February 1st, when sheep began making milk again in the ancient Celtic world. We’ll take out the Christmas tree then, whose little lights have lit the dark, foggy days and nights. So, just two weeks to go before I dare to listen for the male red-wing black bird’s return and the tiny, tiny incremental rustlings of Spring on the wing. I know it’s a classic case of “is the glass half empty or half full”, but living in the north country requires such thinking if one is to endure. And, with the Omicron variant raging in our ranks and the world’s news, it’s hard to concentrate on more than just enduring what’s here right now, and living with such an uncertain future. And, I know I know…it’s too early to think about Spring.

Yet, after weeks of solid ice covering all but the major roads, and recent fog every single day, the past few days have given us a little break. The sun has broken through in the afternoons, paths of dry pavement have revealed themselves for walks without spikes, and the sunsets have been show stoppers. And, now, the full Wolf Moon is filling our bedroom all night long. John sent me a photo early this morning of the moon setting over the East Rosebud and I sent him a photo of it setting over the quiet lake. The moon makes me believe in Hope again this morning…there have been days this January in which hope has been dormant. As today’s writer on Earth/Sky well knows, this moon brings good cheer on a long winter’s night. And, like Wendell Berry, it will be good also to melt.

THE COLD 
by Wendell Berry

How exactly good it is
to know myself
in the solitude of winter,
my body containing its own

warmth, divided from all
by the cold; and to go
separate and sure
among the trees cleanly
divided, thinking of you
perfect too in your solitude,
your life withdrawn into
your own keeping
—to be clear, poised
in perfect self-suspension
toward you, as though frozen.

And having known fully the
goodness of that, it will be
good also to melt.

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