Monday, February 1, 2010

My Lovely January... Until next year...


January rarely disappoints, to my mind. The stereotypical thoughts of this month, are brutal cold, ice, snow-- winter's hammer coming down hard after the warmth and sanguine nature of December has softened us up.

But deep in my memories, like a nut left by the squirrel of my mind, are different thoughts of January.

The days are just becoming noticeably longer. The pineal gland begins the turn towards spring. There are many more cold days to come. But somehow. Somehow. Hope has returned. I see it all round me. The buds are already beginning to swell on some of the leafless trees. The squirrels and birds, reminiscent of beach goers, are seen to be basking in the afternoon sun, as are cats such as the one with whom I share my life. My mother called this "going to Florida"-- when I would search high and low for my dear kitty as a child, I would often find her, just as my mother advised, prone on the wool carpet in the sun pouring in through the largest most south facing window of our house.

And then there are the thaws.

We have already had three snows this year: a moderate one of 8" or so, a big one over 2 feet, and a sugar dusting last week, where everything looked as though it were dusted in powdered sugar, and which was preserved so perfectly by the cold that even days later, even though sparse, the powder would still blow about. With highs of only about 16 many of those days, with wind chills around 9, and even more brutal temps at night, it's no wonder the sun could not bring a melt.

But now. Today.

Yesterday and the day before we reached temperatures over 50 degrees-- nearly 60! (I've been writing this in an ongoing manner-- as Journaling, almost...)And today we are in the 50's as well. The sky is deep warm blue today; clear- but not ice cold crystal that winter brings. A spring sky. Yesterday it was a robin's egg French blue with dusky lilac clouds. An oasis of spring in winter's wilds. A cruel trick perhaps to prevent those who inhabit this area from becoming acclimated to winter and it's temperatures, or lack thereof. And yet. This is what I've always known.

And perhaps this is why I garden in January. The air is relatively warm when warm-- but still refreshing- refreshingly warm and yet cool enough to cause one to not feel the exertion. And I can pretend. So easily pretend that winter has vamoosed, feign my escape for a day or two.

February doesn't afford me such opportunity, nor such inspiration. No matter the weather, it feels like the heart of winter, as though we are lost in it, never to find our way out. Valentine's Dinners, Cozy-Hot Romance, Red Flowers, and CHOCOLATE insert themselves here- is there any wonder why? Even though, really there is just over one month remaining. Before the waters of March return, the Lion and then the Lamb...

My beautiful January is now over, the 60 degree days have already ended. But it was just enough. For now. To have been able to warm my bones, see the light the color that temperature and humidity bring to my ambient life. Before the sun's light as reflected through the crystal clear and steely gray of colder weather are no longer "sparkling" and "moody" but rather lose their novelty somehow becoming "empty" and "dark". Stark. Still there is beauty there. In Winter's wilds. We had one last January snow; last night, we went out with a whoosh!

Thankyou, January, for this transition, this brief respite.

Welcome, February!
I hope you are all well and finding enjoyment in whatever Winter has for you!

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous paean to the End of Winter, to January.

    So beautifully put. Thank you!

    C x


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