Winter plays me like a mandolin. January, sprinkled with 50* days and sunshine. The sky, daily, exploding into a kaleidoscope stunt double. And just like that, single digits, Snow! came and went! In less time than it takes to cobble together one respectable snowman. gone! I find myself hankering for more. accumulation. new snow blower worthy. It is wrecking havoc with my mind. I am such a sucker. yet, I fall for it every time. And just to be clear, I don't have a problem with that...just make up your mind, January. Oh, and either way, keep the sun. please tell me you're working on this. Gloomy need not apply. The sunlight has a way of changing drab into magic. So, when I find myself in desperate need of some face time with Nature, I go on a winter hunt. While I find the mud, vines and moss on the ground to be intriguing...I have to keep reminding myself to look up. I am so glad I do. Ohio, you sure do know how to paint a purr-dy sky!
So it's at this point that I have to admit that it's just kind of full of itself. Winter, I mean, and it's mixed bag of outrageous, the one it keeps slung over it's left shoulder. where little bits of amazing and incredible get cast about, and scattered haphazardly ... these are my thoughts. in January. a month close to my heart. a month full of monochromatic beauty. happenstance. and serendipity. I keep it filed under the same basic heading as other things I love. I've been sort of taking notes, noticing the enchanting ways winter keeps surprising me. funny little things where jack frost and kismet rub shoulders. walk hand in hand. And darned if they don't keep cropping up. one after the other. It's not as though I prefer winter over summer. Honestly. sometimes, I actually have to say this out loud. To myself. I really love summer best! It is my love song. But, winter makes me swoony. Once it's here. Getting it here, takes a little work, though, because winter is slow and easy at heart. It can easily take weeks, months even, and suddenly without hoopla or fan fare, it's here.
I made impromptu plans over morning coffee, bundled up, grabbed my camera, headed for the hills. The promise of exercise and fresh air nearly sold me on the idea, sunshine closed the deal. It's a magical sort of place, a small slip of the world. a few unremarkable fields bisected by a path, blending in cozily with the acres of hills, ponds, abandoned locks and tress all around it. wildlife, a solitary path, and a lazy, distant slip of blue. The urge, of course, is to take it all in at once. But what delivers, far and away, is attention to detail. the ideal to focus separately on every accessory. listen intently to the shushing silence. I am at a loss at first, in this unfamiliar landscape. gradually my eyes reluctantly surrender their desire to roam, and tune in to focus. aware of every element. Peripheral vision is premium here, frosting on the cake, an elegant slideshow of shadows and mystic. the flicker of a wing, rustling of a branch or just another one of a million wonders.
My sight is crystal clear as are my thoughts. While I looked around, I decided this will be the winter of my content. the winter of more photos. This winter, my house will be a mess, and I will choose muddy boots and walking over clean feet and mopping. I will keep my car packed with hike related things at all time, and not complain about the lack of ocean. (and by complain, I mean out loud). This winter I have decided to enjoy the cold. To embrace it as part of the experience. And not wish it were summer, that will be the hardest part. As a summer person, I am hardwired to complain about the winter. But...this will be the winter I sit in front of the fireplace and sip hot chocolate instead. I will channel my seven year old self, the last self who actually enjoyed the frozen months. The one who ran out in the morning, in pajamas, shouting at the top of her lungs...It Snowed! It snowed! It snowed! The one who lived for making igloos and snow angels for wearing mittens, scarves, hats, snow pants, parkas and red boots, just to go outside! for 15 minutes! The one who had frozen hair and was still impervious to the 12* numbing landscape of childhood.
Winter has become my escape. my solitude. I can hide away in peace. Sneak away to the woods, knowing I practically have the whole place to myself. There is something enchanting about tromping through the woods alone, hidden amongst the trees and rocks. After years of forgotten days, this afternoon, I revisited my old stomping grounds, after years of forgotten memories, and it was so unexpectedly blissful. To add even more flair to the moment, it snowed. All of those cherished moments came flooding back to me in a wave of utter joy I couldn't have anticipated. Nostalgia is funny like that. It will sneak up on you when you least expect it. As I move forward on my journey, it comforts me to know that my fond memories of the past will never fully fade. indeed they will only grow stronger.
I cannot help but smile, in the face of everything that has come before, when I see it for the gift it really is. This will be a year of endless possibilities. A year of manifested destiny. This will be the year where age no longer matters. And I give up caring about what happened to my butt, or what it looks like in a bikini. This year there will always be fresh flowers, laughter and hope to go around. This year I will wear velvet and lavender. I will sing loudly, despite the fact that I can't carry a tune. I will give my dogs belly rubs. I will daydream about the ocean. I will surround myself with people I love, and who love me back. This will be the best year...ever!
Hippie Health-nut soup