A Solstice Reckoning
It's strange...we're about to celebrate a new calendar year in the middle of a season where anything new is still months away, and not guaranteed to any of us.
It begins today...December 21, 2017.
Winter, season of tree bones and unobstructed views.
Winter, finding us tethered to furnace and slippers.
Winter, the turn-within season, where we add a few pounds and allow ourselves more butter and gravy than any other time of the year because it comforts us.
Winter, for the Navajo, the season of telling stories.
Winter, brave season of putting on every layer we own just to fetch the paper in the driveway.
Winter, season of unavoidable and untended losses rising to the surface like steam and heat, hard to ignore their hungry gaze.
Winter, with its leggings and toboggans and snow ice cream experiments.
Winter, missing departed loved ones for this first holiday since their passing, or the sixteenth, makes no difference; the empty place at the table still aches and echoes.
Winter, when some sturdy bird tribes still dot the feeders with their welcome eye-candy colors of red and bright blue, and we thank them with seeds and suet.
Winter, its inner flames licking logs of contentment and bonding among dear friends and family.
Winter, with a simple palette of browns and grays and soft deep greens, dusted or covered or blanketed in the purest white.
Winter, which holds in frozen suspended suspense the unfinished garden projects left in the field at the end of a busy harvest.
Winter, the ultimate waiting room season, that gives us nowhere else to look but at ourselves and each other, if we're smart and not squeamish.
Winter, thawing then freezing then cracking under the weight of our hope that it will not have the last word.
Winter, inching us toward more light and less darkness, one dawn, one sunset at a time.
Winter, we wait in your stark presence, busy our hearts with forgotten tasks, give thanks for heat and food, and hope you'll not stay too long, and beg your forgiveness when, in the middle of March, we hurry you toward the door.