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Sonnet XIII - Winter's Work
At the beginning of February 2020, the snow came down hard here in metro Atlanta Georgia. I remember it well. I was at a county, Language Arts teachers' professional development session at Peachtree Ridge High. During one of the breaks, a facilitator announced that it was snowing. This snow stuff doesn't get old, even if you grew up with it, and I was definitely one of the ones outside, letting my face catch the large flakes falling, and launching a few snowballs at nearby trees. In fact, maybe I appreciate it more because you "don't know what you've got till it's gone", as the song goes.
As a child in Indiana, the snow and cold were fun. Snow days were the best because not only did we not have to go to school, but we also got to play out in the snow for hours and hours. We built snow fortifications on opposite sides of the yard and had snowball wars. We slid down the slight hill at the edge of our backyard, that ran into the backyards of houses behind ours. And, we dug igloos out of the snow that plows pushed up in a pile in the cul-de-sac across the street. Best of all was that we didn't mind the cold and wet when we were kids.
As an adult though, I mind it a lot. I am sad that my kids don't get to play out in snow much here in Georgia, but I am not sad that we don't get much of it. I am happy with just seeing the snow for a few hours or a day before it melts. Last year I really wanted to see snow when we visited Indiana for a week at the end of the year. I wanted the kids to have a prolonged amount of time to play in it. But it didn't happen. This year, I am quite indifferent about seeing snow. But, I am not indifferent about winter.
It's probably the messages I've seen, directly and indirectly online, that have influenced me. Someone published a book called "Wintering" sometime ago and I've seen pictures of it floating around in IG stories, and I don't think I need to read it to understand what it's all about. Also, I had a friend who posted a lovely thing about winter on her IG and I've saved it to my phone background.
Over the past month I've wanted to get back into my running and exercise routine, but I've just not done it. I've also wanted to begin in hard on some writing and social goals, but I've just not done that, either. I've also thought to myself, okay, I'll give myself time to winter in January and then I'll get started. But, I've been enjoying my wintering so much, that I'm thinking I'll just continue on. I don't need to move at the pace of winter in Georgia. I can move more at the pace of winter in Marion, Indiana. In the years we lived there, winter lasted until April.
Winter is doing such a wonderful work in me and I think I'll just stay inside of it here for awhile. At least until the trees in Indiana start blooming.
Winter makes me want to hide – to stay out of the bitter wind, wrapped up in branches shaking bare in sky, where avalanches of snow and ice can’t freeze me. I won’t sprout, no, not yet, although the warmth makes me doubt. But if I break forth now, the frost blanches. Besides that, I seem stuck in these trances and can’t rise up to follow the devout. And I think I’m fine with that, I think I’ll resign to the fact that winter’s still here. This season’s a gift, a time to prepare, to give time, space for life to reconcile. I’ll let life reconcile me, here inside, and wait for strength to break me forth in time.
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