Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thursday, 10 February 2006 - A winter song

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a winter song.

Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer. ~Plutarch in Moralia

In my Colorado neighborhood, winter is a quiet season. During the day, the only certain sound is the low rumble from the trucks that travel the side road to and from the rock quarry.

The song birds - those that stay the winter - seldom visit our yard, saving their high-spirited concerts for the warmer seasons. Children stay indoors, depriving me of their shouts, screams and laughter that tell me school is out. Since the gardens and lawns are dormant, the lawn mowers, weed-eaters and edgers hibernate in garages and tool sheds.

Snow falling is silent, though beautiful to watch. Cold air is mute while it embraces me with a bone-chilling hug. Even T is very quiet, having found a sunny spot in the backyard for his nap or curling up on the braided rug near the sliding glass door for a peaceful snooze.

For me, winter's song belongs to the wind. Violent gusts that shake the house, rattle the windows, whistle eerily through the chimney, thrash the trees and bushes, whip the old cedar fence and create utter havoc on trash day. More percussion than melody, I would say.

"Cold front approaching, " the wind bellows.

In my studio, I brace for the cold spell. I wrap a blanket around my legs and turn on the space heater. Then, I await the wintry weather with high hopes that Mother Nature will finally answer my prayers for snow.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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