A hoarfrost covered our yard this morning and I’ve been resisting the temptation all day to feel morose. Winter has become harder. I associate it with loss and illness, even though I have had neither in more than six years.Winter is the piling on of layers, feeling overstuffed and clumsy, my leather satchel and backpack bag sliding off puffy shoulders. Less freedom in dressing, restricted to pants, sweaters, boots. A reluctance to walk in the woods, and the unavoidable post-nasal drip that freezes above my lip. My eyes water. All but the tall grasses, now brown, will stand above the snow in my gardens.
Yet I also feel a strange, ethereal connection to snow and landscapes where the edge of the world and the edge of the atmosphere blur together in a gray mist. The vast flat fields of dried corn stalks poking out of the snow, breaking the certitude of blowing drifts. This austere land, this quiet danger should you be stranded along an empty road while behind you, unseen, a deer snorts, stamps its hoof, dares you to come closer.
It could be magical. I think of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, how the White Witch rules for decades, turning Narnia into snow, frost, ice. The talking faun and beavers, the stone statues that come to life—all saved by the Christ-like lion Aslan who dies and then breathes again. It could be like the cinematic beauty of the Coen brothers’ Fargo: silent, high drifts of snow across a plain. It could be the snow tunnels we made as children or the bunny print I found last winter. It could sparkle in sunlight. It could turn blue in the dusk.
I am trying to keep myself open to such things. Remembering my rubber boots with the figure eight straps, heavy in the snow, thinking, It is all so deep and beautiful and everywhere, at six years old.
I’d say you’ve got your groove back, Meg! I am also busy trying to find beauty in the season approaching…I’m definitely a spring, summer, or any season other than winter kind of gal.
Thanks, Lauri! I appreciate your reading so much. Hope you are able to find some beauty in the snow. xoxo
Lyrically lovely…I suddenly want some snow! Or to go read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe again.
Thanks, Jennifer. I’m so glad you liked it. I might have to read some C.S. Lewis this winter.
I love your descriptions in the second paragraph especially – that place where the grey mist lurks. Winter dredges up such a complex set of emotions – is there another season we have to convince ourselves to enjoy? And yet, it can be so breathtakingly beautiful.
I so agree with you — why is it so hard to love winter? Gonna try hard this year. Love you.
This is beautiful. Your descriptions actually make me look forward to the coming snow.
Thanks so much, Tilly!
I always get depressed at this time of the year, and we don’t even have snow or frost here. Maybe I need to think of Aslan more.
Yes, I think it helps to try to transport yourself mentally and see winter differently. That’s my plan anyway. Thanks for reading, Tina.
You really described a lot of what I like about winter….or even just the cooler months. I love the jackets and the scarfs and needing a blanket for the living room. Your essay was full of clear imagery that made feel a frosty little shiver. Well done.
I am aware winter can be harsh and I have never experienced it’s beauty or fury but it cannot be as bad as 365 days of hot and humid weather. With no changing of seasons. It’s hot, hot, hot, every day! Sorry went a little off tangent there. Loved how your described it. Still think winter is beautiful when it’s not all blizzards and storms.
Yeah, I really can’t deal with extreme heat either. I like having four seasons. Thanks for commenting!
All true, all at once.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Nancy.
There’s something about this that has really touched my heart today. I think I am experiencing a similar sensation this winter time. Thanks for posting.
Thank you, Donna-Louise! Glad it resonated.
I am not a lover of winter, but this reminds me that I need to keep an open mind, remembering that beauty and wonder are in the eye of the beholder.
Exactly, Ellen. Instead of lamenting the earlier darkness, make a fire in the fireplace. 🙂
I so feel this. I do not like winter at all. But I still have to go on my hikes because dogs! Truthfully, I feel good after I do but not sure I’d have the motivation otherwise!
Whatever works, Stacie! I hope I will go for more hikes too. Especially since I’ve got my yak-traks. <3
I like winter, but I do not like frostbite. And I really don’t like slogging through corners filled with slate-grey slush. I’m grateful to not be living in Gravesend anymore during winter.
I also like that you used hoarfrost. It makes me think of Edith Wharton. Don’t know why.
Funny thing about “hoarfrost” — I looked out the window this morning and saw that there was frost on the grass and knew there had to be a name for that. To Google, I went and there it was. Thanks for reading and commenting.