Tuesday, February 07, 2023

February's Little Thaw

The late winter thaw lasts for only a few days in eastern Ontario, and we are all richer for its visitation. Winters are long this far north, and some of us (myself included) are inclined to behave foolishly. We take photos with cameras and cell phones, send texts to friends, write seasonal haiku and gaze out the window for hours on end, wax euphoric about the light and lurch about with dazed expressions.

We think about things like snowdrops and crocuses, dream about confetti-colored rain boots, slickers and umbrellas, think about planting gardens and pruning roses. We imagine ourselves in lawn chairs wearing floppy hats and sandals and holding tall glasses with dear little paper parasols and mojito mint leaves in them. Just about the time we realize how silly we are behaving, our thaw ends, and the world freezes up again.

Little rivers in the Lanark highlands run free for a brief interval, and they take on the color and glossy texture of quicksilver. On sunny days, the liberated streams sing like birds, and they are filled, one and all, with buttery light, wispy clouds and breathtaking blue sky. There is beauty beyond description, and the sunlight feels like a benediction.

This week, we can almost hear springtime breathing softly around the bend, but that is just wishful thinking on our part. Alas, we (and Flora, goddess of spring) still have a long way to go. Snow storms and deep cold are already on their way, and they will be here in a few days. If only we could keep this glorious light for a little longer...