Winter Doldrums

OMG, winter has arrived in the Northeast. No, the snow hasn’t deigned to make an appearance yet but it clearly is on its way.  The daytime temps are dropping, dropping, dropping and furnaces are in full effect. Plastic is going up on windows and doors as people have begun weatherization which is short for sealing themselves in. It feels like enforced hibernation and I want to resist. Ha! We can’t resist the tides of time and the changing of the seasons.

That doesn’t stem my desire to be outside in balmy weather, pruning my Roses, picking berries and herbs, brushing up against the lavender and smelling the deep, rich smell of the earth and mulch. My eyes are starving for the all to brief beauty of Peonies and the seductive ripeness of tomatoes hanging from the vine. I am going into hypershock because I can’t plant for five long months or watch the butterflies and flee from dragonflies. I love dragonflies but they terrify me at the same time as they look like something straight out of a Sci Fi novel. I miss hanging out in the garden, a silent witness to the birds and bees as they take wing to harvest and pay court to my floral tapestries. Worst of all, I miss the sighing sound of wind rustling through the trees and the warmth of the sun.

Our garden is a microcosm which never ceases to fascinate us. It expands borders, develops diseases, attracts and repels predators and burgeons with beauty and peace. It has taught us patience and rewards our diligence with an ever increasing return. How many things in life can you say that about? 

Winter comes and I watch most of what I love die back to the ground leaving in its wake brown, grey, tan and more brown. I marvel at the structures of the plants stripped bare of ornamentation and laugh, once more, at all I missed beneath the flash of leaves and vivid colors. Trees, sentinels of the earth now stripped bare, reveal their sinewy and willowy branches, muscular trunks on display. Evergreens, handsomely preening, take center stage. I love them too but they will never hold the same place in my heart as that which is temporal.

If I could, I would run off to warmer lands for the winter and return with the Spring. Watching the landscape burst into bloom is one of my favorite things. Ah, Spring, would it be as glorious if there was no winter to live through? What lessons does nature contain?

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