Tuesday, January 30, 2024

A Little Thaw in January

The late winter thaw lasts for only a few days in eastern Ontario. While it lasts, we take photos with cameras and cell phones, send texts to friends, write seasonal haiku and gaze out the window for hours on end. We wax euphoric about the light and lurch about with dazed expressions. We dream about spring things like snowdrops and crocus, confetti-colored rain boots, slickers and umbrellas.

For the first time in many weeks, Beau and I took long walks around the village without worrying about going base over apex on a patch of sneaky black ice, and we enjoyed them immensely. A lighter jacket, a few poo bags in my pocket and off we went. Alas, the moderate interlude is already passing, and colder weather is on  its way. It was a tad nippy when we stepped outside this morning, and there is ice everywhere.

During the thaw, we have to think about things like clearing melting ice from walkways and listening for the sound of water in our basements and garages. As I write this, there is an pool of meltwater out in the street wide enough and deep enough to launch a seagoing vessel and paddle most of the way to China. Plop, plop, is that the sound of dripping water coming from downstairs? Thankfully, not. It's the downspout conducting its roof melt river down to a trough in the yard and out to the road.

In the Lanark highlands, small tributaries run free for a brief interval, taking on the color and texture of quicksilver. On sunny days, the liberated streams sing like birds, and they are filled with buttery light, wispy clouds and breathtaking blue sky.

This week, we could almost hear springtime breathing softly around the bend, but it is wishful thinking on our part. We (and Lady Spring) have a long way to go. If only we could keep this glorious light for a little longer.


Blondi Blathers said...

These glorious spring-like days are such a refreshing treat in the winter! And you describe them beautifully. -Kate

Mystic Meandering said...

I love the lacy looking edges on the snow... Reminds me of doilies my grandmother used to make :)

francesray.substack.com said...

We had a similar brief thaw, a welcome reminder that Spring is working behind the scene and will appear again.
I love this longer piece. Thank you.