Present in Winter

There’s a blizzard coming. I watched the moon set in a clear sky, setting behind bare birch and maple trees this morning. It was 0°F when I went out to do chores. It felt like 0°F but not colder. No wind, not even a breeze. “Phoebe Phoebe Phoebe” from the chickadees caught my attention. I’ve been reading a lot of excited “_____ happened, spring is coming.” And lots of groaning about cold and snow and winter. You see where this is going, don’t you? Lots of not being present in winter. Alive and well but not really participating in the moment at hand.

The only time you can see a stunning winter sunset is in winter. Right now. Well, unless you’re on the other side of the world… You won’t want a blanket to cozy up with by the fire in August. There will be no snow days in July.

winter sunset, present, be presentYes, spring is coming. In spite of a blizzard that’s going to drop upwards of 26″ of snow on us, bring us 50 mile an hour winds, and build drifts that could reach ten or more feet, spring is coming. So is summer. Autumn is also coming. And so is winter. Next winter is coming. I’ll just duck now while the virtual snowballs fly.

present, snowshoe, JetsledThe chickadees are singing songs that start in mid-winter, the time we’re presently in, and carries into spring and summer. I enjoy the song as it is right now, a mid-winter jingle that makes me smile. The American goldfinches are getting a little brighter now, a sign that daylight is getting longer. My Khaki Campbell ducks are laying, another sign of extended daylight. Yes, spring is coming, but the birds are doing what birds do in the dead of winter. They’re present in the moment.

I’m not dreading the blizzard (but do dread the wind, as always). I’m planning to spend the day writing by the fire, probably without electricity so I’ll write by hand. We’ll get to the work of preparing for it in a little while. The storm will start this evening and not end until early Tuesday morning. It’s a long one. We’ll over fill the wood rack so we don’t have to bring wood in until Wednesday. I’ll fill buckets with water, bring fresh straw and warm water to the hen house just before dark, and make sure the dishes and laundry are done. If the power goes out I don’t want to have a pile of laundry or any dirty dishes in the sink. We’ll be preparing for the near future while being present in the moment.

Be present in winter. It’s here for however long it decides to be so why not make the most of this season? Snowshoe, read, knit, write, binge on television and music. That’s my plan. Plan? More of the garden. Plot shenanigans. Think ahead. Look forward to spring but be present in winter and don’t wish time away, eh?