I love winter. This past week of snow and bitter cold delighted and invigorated me. I can’t quite explain why. Maybe it has something to do with the light and the transformation of the world into a different place.
But getting up in the dark is very, very hard. This morning as I awoke, the great horned owls were still singing to one another deep in the woods, and the dogs startled the deer who like to browse in the darkness.
Today, however, even though the sunrises will keep getting later and and later, the hours of light begin to lengthen. In deepest winter we find ourselves thinking about the path we are beginning to the longest day in summer. In summer, the joy of that long day is tinged with sadness that the days will begin to shorten. Now, the darkness is enlivened by the hope of spring.
Two of our friends have lost parents this week. They are deeply religious people, so I imagine their grief is filled with this same mixture of despair and promise: the paradox of faith. As they gaze out on this new and alien landscape of their lives, may they find the consolation of light and hope.
In Wisconsin, snowdrops normally bloom in March, and, true to their name, burst through remnants of snow. This year, the only snow left is what has been plowed into mountains at the edges of driveways and parking lots, and even those are nearly gone.
But the snowdrops are here all the same, though rather early. And none the less welcome for that.
I’d rather have flowers than almost anything. Except, perhaps, snow.
It’s cold out. There’s not much to do, so why not enter a contest to win a free autographed copy of North of the Tension Line?
Submit a comment to this post explaining why you should receive a copy. Wide readership and/or a willingness to be a shameless shill are highly recommended.
Winner solely determined by the author’s whim. All decisions are final.
North of the Tension Line takes its show on the road next weekend in and around Chicago.
Saturday, February 21st at 1:00 p.m.
Barbara’s Bookstores in Burr Ridge
810 Village Center Drive
in the Burr Ridge Center Village
Burr Ridge, Illinois 60527
Sunday, February 22nd at 3:00 p.m.
City Lit Books
2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647
Please stop by to say hello.