Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Out of the White Stuff, A Reminder

For all the cold and the white stuff deposited here this winter, the endless shoveling and heaving, our weariness of the season and its gelid trappings, there are surprises now and then. Morning sunlight turns icicles to gold, long blue shadows fall across the snow, a single leaf dangles from a branch in the woods—such things have a way of engaging one's attention when the world is windswept, clean and stark.

Pleasing bits of gnarly magic poke their heads out of the snow here and there, and when they do, they are wonderful to see. Desiccated remnants of last summer, they are powerful reminders of its warmth and light, its glorious coloration and fragrance, and they awaken something within.

Dried fronds, wands and seed heads coming back into the light of day have curving, sinuous shapes. There is just a hint of the vibrant hues they once wore, but their emergence is a sign that winter is "getting old", that there are brighter times are ahead. We perch in towering snowdrifts and bear witness to the long white season's passing. We think about springtime and nesting owls, about maple syrup gathering, snowdrops and songbirds. We rattle and creak, and we keep right on shoveling—we go on.

Perceptions totter and fade and take on odd shapes in late winter and we need connection—we need reminders of cyclical nature of existence, of the earth's own wonder, magic and infinite change. This morning the reminder is a strand of tansy, last summer's flowing curves against a background of deep blue snow. 

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