I know winter. I grew up in South Dakota, lived in Denver, Chicago and St. Louis. I have shoveled my share of snow, driven through slippery slush and dug out of my house. I spent months hardly seeing any bare skin and looking at my trees coated in ice. I hauled buckets of water from the house to the barn when the horses’ water would freeze up. Winter has its share of challenges.
When I was growing up in South Dakota I loved all the seasons. I reveled in the dramatic changes each would bring to my life. I enjoyed winter. It created another form of playground and a different set of things to do. Winter meant sleds, snowballs, ice skates and hot chocolate.
As a school teacher in Colorado and Illinois winter brought the unspoken likelihood of “snow days.” To wake up and look out at a new blanket of snow, turn on the TV and see my school listed with the “school closings” across the bottom of screen was a special kind of joy only a teacher will understand…the gift of an unexpected day off!
I would stay in my PJ’s all morning, cup of tea and favorite book in hand, curled up in a big chair by the fireplace as the snow continued to fall silently. It was an ecstatic experience. After brunch, the dogs and I would bundle up and head out for a walk. Brilliant blue skies follow a snowstorm and the sun reflecting off the white mounds is electric. Rocky and Beauty, my two labs, would put their noses into the snow and run leaving a nose trail between their paw tracks. Their exuberance was contagious and I would lie down and make a snow angel or two as they licked my face and rolled on their backs with me.
When I moved to the high desert mountains of southern California, I was surprised to discover that we have four distinct seasons. I had lumped all of southern California into one idea of “mostly sunny and mostly hot”. Mostly sunny was correct, mostly hot was not. At my elevation of 4000 feet, nights are mostly cool and winters get quite cold. We even have snow occasionally and thankfully on the flip side, the winter day temperatures sometimes hit 80 degrees.
The Vernal Equinox promises that for the next six months days will be longer and sunnier and nights will be milder and shorter. I am happy to be on the front end of that. I smile at the thought of the air on my skin feeling comfortable and walking across the grass in my bare feet. I like wearing less clothes and not needing to drive with gloves. I love the greening of the grass and the blooming plants. When I drive down the hill past the herds of cattle lots of babies are showing up. Birth. New beginnings. In the cycle of life, this time of starting again is very precious to me.
The vibrant energy of Springtime is awakening me and I am stretching into it. Opportunities for growth and regeneration feel promising. What will I do with the energy of Spring? What will I birth? What creative project awaits me?
I am going to go out and sit under the trees and listen to the new blades of grass pushing up from the earth. I am going to lie on the ground and let my Mother nurture and nourish me with her loving support. I am going to trust that the promise of Spring is true and if I listen well, I will hear what I need to know.
- Winter storm slams travel in the Dakotas (news.yahoo.com)