Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
WINTER! This week we received a four-inch snowfall that turned our earth-toned, monochromatic landscape into a bright sparkling tapestry.
I would say that winter is my favorite season, but the truth is that when the seasons change, at that moment that season is my favorite. I love the energizing effect the seasonal changes have on my psyche. You should know that I grew up in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Ontario where snowfalls of three to four feet were routine – and the winter blizzard of 1966 piled 108 inches of snow on Oswego County.
My winter memories are of incredible igloo-like snow forts made in the huge piles of snow next to the curb, staying outdoors until my whole body was tingling with cold, hot chocolate and jack wax. Our family had a little cabin seven miles east of town on the lakeshore. In the winter, we would walk in from the county road pulling lunch and my little brother on the toboggan. Dad would stoke up a fire in the woodstove and then we'd all go check out the nature-made ice sculptures on the rocky shore. After that it was lunch time – always the very same menu: Lipton’s chicken and rice soup, apple sauce, grilled cheese sandwiches and hot chocolate.
I loved walking in snow-covered fields looking for the little bumped up trails under the snow where a mouse had traveled or see the whispy designs made by dried grasses as they were buffeted by the north winds. And of course making snow angels was a favorite not just of mine but of all youngsters (and a few not so young).
So during this week's snowfall, I was here at my desk watching the show outside through a window 20 feet from my desk. But finally at 5, I was turned loose to go home and shovel the sidewalk and relish the cold, sparkling winter air. There were no mouse tunnels, but I could see the dainty tracks a wild kitty made along the edges of the garden. Many neighbors were out shoveling their sidewalks and driveways – a mini block party in the dark. The first snow is always the best – there are no dirty snow piles by the curb or ruts of slush in the streets – just a carpet of sparkling whiteness, illuminating the night. Before going in for the evening, I flopped down on a clear space and made the first snow angel of the year – ahhhhhh, winter!!
Wishing you all a winter of childish delight.