January 12, 2020

January thaw

My grandfather looked forward to the "January thaw." Where we live, it typically happens mid-month, and this year it arrived right on time. It lasts four to five days and is followed by our coldest days of the year. 

The January thaw gave Pop a few days to walk his property lines and attend to anything that needed to be done. He could read the weather signs, and he told me a few secrets about doing that. As soon as the thaw was over, Pop began studying the seed catalogs. It was time to plan the veggie garden. Indeed, my own thoughts turn to ways to successfully grow a tomato plant. 

Being Sunday, I made the most of the warm day. I opened the windows in my sunroom office and let the fresh air blow through. Some time was spent on the porch, admiring the clear blue sky. I was struck by the patterns and contrasts I could see from my quiet perch. 

In winter, the trees have a silent magnificence, their strength and structure on display. We enjoy their shade in summer but never see beyond the leaves. Stripped for a winter's sleep, they cast long, straight shadows across the ground. 

Winter is a time of discovery. The world laid bare is the world on display. I don't have time to despair the cold air and the threats of snow. 

It's easier to breathe. The air is heady when not laden with moisture. Being outside without sweating is invigorating.

I'll never be a "snowbird" and head for warmer climates when winter comes. I'm made of sterner stuff, like my grandfather. I see the world not as sterile and cold, but ready to renew and I wouldn't miss it for love nor money. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor  

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