Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sun on snow

We've all been grumbly lately. Kathleen pouts every day because it isn't spring and she can't make fairy houses. (We did get out for two days to make them, only to have ten inches of snow dumped on them the next.) Both kids have energy they don't know what to do with. I sigh every time I have to put on boots and coat and hat (now gaiters) to take the dog out.

It's been a long winter.

This time of year I'm usually done with winter. I'm dreaming of my garden even though it's still covered in snow. I'm buying seeds whenever I go to the store because it feels like a step toward gardening. I'm getting through by thinking of sap running and pancakes with sweet syrup in just a few weeks.

So it's just that time of year, but this winter has seemed particularly rough. I expected it to be the year we finally started to take back winter more with both kids a bit older and more able to maneuver themselves even in the snow. We didn't have all that much snow this winter though. Mostly ice and cold cold cold. We didn't go out to play because walking across the yard was treacherous. We didn't go out because we were all sick for two solid weeks. Getting out in winter makes it not so bad. Getting out in winter can make it enjoyable even. I couldn't figure out how to get out alone in this winter never mind with the girls and the dog.

It snowed yesterday. It started sometime after I got up with Elizabeth at 1 AM and there were several inches by morning and kept up all day. We shoveled for two hours ending at noon and had to shovel again before dinner. I made every one go out. Kathleen grumbled because she couldn't make fairy houses. Then she made them a snow cave. I took the pine swag from Christmas off the door and let her use that too. Elizabeth didn't want to go out, but was happy to help shovel. We worked. We had fresh air. It was good.

Today, the sun shone, brilliantly, on the fresh, dry, crystalline snow. After Elizabeth's nap, it was still bright. I made us all get out again. Kathleen pouted as she brushed off her fairy houses. Elizabeth begged me to push her on the swing. I grabbed a dead kale plant I never cleaned up in the fall and tossed it for the puppy to chase. I looked up at the blue sky and the skeletal trees. The sun was not warm, but the brightness glowed in me. This is the winter I wanted mixed with the inching closer to spring.

More snow this weekend, but it will melt. I'll see the ground again, smell the fresh dirt. I'll see green again and pink and yellow . . . spring will come. There's beauty though where we are. Yesterday and today that wasn't so hard to see, but even in the ice and the cold and melting muck, it's there even if I have to remind myself to look for it.


  1. It has been a very long, bitter winter. I hope this means Spring will be all the sweeter.

  2. Winter also feels long over here. But no snow for us, only endless rain. Which would probably still stump Kathleen's plans for fairy houses. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to get out of the house with two small children and a dog in the snow.

    I loved the optimism of your seed purchasing expeditions. And, you are right, beauty is there if we remember to look for it.