A nice cold day to stay in, curl up by a fire, eat chocolate and drink wine, and enjoy family and friends.
Winter snow crept in overnight and laid down a downy, white blanket. It left no path, no clear-cut way for me to remove it’s covering from my car so I could go to work. The one-lane road was equally covered. Trapped, I turned back inside, heated up some hot chocolate, and settled down with a good book. Tomorrow, I said.
Winter. Snow. White. Cold. Words that symbolize this time of year. A park bench covered in winter snow; red ribbons reminiscent of the season. It seduces the imagination and speaks of what winter should be. I should leave it at that.
But I won’t. Six years later…today…I look out my window at the warm sun. Morning temperature is 40° and will continue to rise. This winter season has been unseasonably warm and even though my body (and my electric bill!) loves it, I miss the beauty of winter. I miss the beauty of snow. I am concerned about how this will affect the upcoming spring and summer. How will the land respond? How will the crops fare? Will our insect population explode? What does this mean? I hope that in the next couple of weeks our winter will shape up and be what it is supposed to be.
But until then, I have this photo to remind me of what winter once looked like.
I wander lost in thought along a trail in a cold, leafless wood when I’m caught by the glistening snow of this frozen side path. The snow slowly melts around the edges, dampening the clotted leaves around and under it. I could almost hear the crunch of the upper crust as I mentally trudge down it to see what lies beyond the bright woods ahead. In spite of the intrigue, though, I don’t follow this snowy path on this cold day. My journey is elsewhere.
Paths are journeys waiting to happen. I look into the distance and wonder what is around the bend. Is this a journey I want to take? Is this a mystery I want to uncover? I have a fascination with paths because of the unknown, the mystery, the possibility that exists at its end. But I also love paths because of the journey itself. And some paths are not meant to be taken. This path is one of those.
(I do love paths and roads. I have a Flickr set devoted to it. Please check it out: “Pathways, Roads, and Just Around the Bend.”
Ahhh. Be careful what you wish for. This morning I woke up to snow on the ground. I feel much better. As much as I like warm weather, I get nervous when the season really should have snow.
That being said, this photo is where I used to live in Irvington (subdivision of Indianapolis). It was my first “home” after my divorce and it has…interesting…memories. The landlord was really a slumlord and I could tell you stories of robberies, guns, police, and drugs, of holes in ceilings, holes in the roof, ghostly basements and fires. But I could also tell you stories of five newborn kittens, the nostalgic rumble of trains passing within feet of the property, having friends over, and the first taste of freedom being on my own. And perhaps someday I will as I uncover more photos of this place.
On this day in 2009, the snow entranced me. I shuffled through the white blanket to relish the transformation of the property from winter grunge to winter quiet. I am standing in a weed-filled section with the train tracks right on my heels looking back at the house that I called home. In spite of all the horrors surrounding this house, including the house itself, I have fond memories of this place.
How delicious! One morning back in 2009 on a cold, snowy day I went walking through my Irvington neighborhood and discovered the neighbors had hung apples and oranges from an evergreen tree. It was beautiful and fresh, just like the snow that day.
Today, when I look out the window, I see gray skies and dark, wet pavement. No snow. Not yet. Will we see it this year? Before the turn of the calendar? I have never longed for snow like I do now.
My sons and I did a lot of walking, even in the winter. I loved how the sun caught the snow and made it sparkle and how my boys trudged through the snow to make a path for me. They’re in their 20′s now, making their own paths.
I had upgraded from a Canon PowerShot A75 to a Canon PowerShot S2 IS by this time (2005). I was thrilled with my camera. It was bigger and more substantial than the little pocket camera AND it had manual controls! I was still working on understanding how to make a good photograph, though. My camera saw all that white snow and compensated for it so the original photo is…well…grayish. I used curves in Photoshop to regain the whiteness. I’m still working through my snow issues, though. Unfortunately, today (2011) there has been no snow this year. I miss it.
Winter’s blessings, you ask? What are the blessings winter offers when all is frozen and cold?
Winter offers a cold beauty seen in no other way, the beauty of ice-encrusted evergreens glistening in the sunlight. Winter offers a cold backdrop to the warmth of the spring, summer, and fall times of the year. Winter offers hot chocolate and warm eggnog, piping hot soups, and animated conversations. Winter offers warmth in a fire, in a friend, in a lover.
When I drink a hot coffee in the brisk air, I appreciate the coffee more. When I sit near a fireplace with a friend, I feel the glow of the friendship. When I walk through a park, I marvel at the white-cloaked trees and frozen ground.
I do not deny there are negative associations with winter, but this isn’t about that. This is about winter’s blessings.