It is, just what it is. In the beginning, we are light of heart but by the middle of January, we are thoroughly weary of winter and ready to see it pass away. This is turning out to be a radically cold and snowy season - even for this far north, and our weariness has set in early this time around.
Winter stays around here for several months out of the calendar year, bringing north winds, deep snow and bitter cold, making our teeth chatter and making us dance in place to stay warm whenever we venture out of doors. Daylight skies are muted for weeks on end, and the moon and stars concealed at night. White wraps around village, field and forest alike, rounding with tenderness and reciprocity, the contours of houses, streets, vehicles, hillsides and sleeping trees.
Rather than trying to tune out all the white stuff, I am photographing it patiently again this year, playing with the scant light "out there" and looking for the distilled and softly glowing essence of the season - now and then, I encounter that stark and visually arresting essence in unlikely places.
In a sunny place under the trees, a cold clear spring rises from several hundred feet underground, the small pool liquid for only a moment or two before freezing in place. The rising bubbles, tiny icicles and suspended pine needles take on the elements of a painting, and what I see in the viewfinder is enchanting, leaves me wide eyed and breathless. As mundane as such natural compositions are at first glance, they hold all the world in their delicate shadings and curves, graceful acknowledgments of the suchness of all things.
Can such happenings ever be called art? Probably not, but they refresh a winter weary spirit all the same, and I am grateful for them.