Wandering towards warmth

It’s at this time of year when I hear longings for warmer weather. From workers in the office building–a lot while in the elevator–to family and friends, I hear wanting cries and wishes for winter to end. February is akin to that last push toward a finish line; it’s a test of emotional endurance because you’ve made it this far yet there’s still a distance to go. When will this end? Let’s finish winter and get on with spring. Polar vortex aside, I’m still enjoying winter. However with daylight piling on, it’s not difficult to think about spring.

In no uncertain terms, sunny, warmer weather puts people in a better mood, especially during those first few days. What’s not to like? You get more vitamin D. The air feels gentler. The sky appears friendlier. The pace of life is calmer. The sounds and sights of life are no longer insulated: laughter, more people outdoors, car windows open, music escapes from said windows, smiles appear from once stoic, resigned faces and of course, fashion turns lighter as puffy, padded, heavy and scratchy attire is relegated to dry cleaning, the cedar chest or some other domestic sarcophagus to be opened later in the year.

Many of us in New England are already wandering toward and wondering about the warmth. For now, we can still huddle in our coats, don an extra layer, warm ourselves with a mug of Hot Toddy and make the best of things next to the fireplace or wood stove.

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North

A few days ago, the cold felt punishing. Yes, I have preference for cold versus hot days, but when the air is already cold at zero degrees Fahrenheit, then enhanced with a windchill of -15, well, that may be enough to reconsider that preference.

I’m fortunate that I can retreat to places where the cold and wind don’t feel as threatening. From the safety of these retreats, I philosophize on the dual sides of nature, of how something that can appear simple and beautiful and minimal can deliver a reality check powerful enough to humble any aesthete caught up in winter’s vanity.

Do you get the feeling that winter provides a sense of calm? The calm I speak of provides a level of reassurance. This winter calm is a metaphorical blanket, one which acts like a shield from unwelcome and sometimes sudden vicissitudes. Such a blanket stops–albeit briefly–the weariness of having to deal with things that keep us from finding a particular quiet.

And when the quiet is welcoming, the alone time is curative…

January’s Light

My thoughts for the New Year?  Continue to take care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually and avoid people and things that don’t add anything to my quality of life…which I graciously extend to you and yours throughout the New Year…

A Touch of Spring

Pour ceux qui sont fatigués de l’hiver, laissez-moi partager avec vous un aperçu du printemps.

Chaque printemps, Smith College ouvre la porte de leurs maisons vertes. Pour un petit don, vous pouvez vous perdre dans la chaleur, la couleur et la promesse de la météo à venir.

La patience est nécessaire car les week-ends sont toujours occupés avec les visiteurs, proches et lointains.

 

 

 

The [early] Morning After

In less than a week, the northeast USA got hit with another storm. While many are so tired of winter, many more are really done with snow and the cold and wanting spring to arrive. Now.

With close to 10 inches [25 cm] of wet, heavy, snow falling overnight, the next morning did not disappoint for people like me.

With nothing but stillness and silence all around me this morning, I thought of Dan Gurney, an incredible achiever by any standard, who said something to the effect of, “If you see something and can make it beautiful, but choose not to, what does that say about you?”

 

Tanglewood

I have been to this place many times before, but not in winter. It’s called Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. To walk the grounds void of flora, visitors and the orchestral sounds of a storied symphony is not only cathartic, but prone to nostalgia.

When you’ve visited a place numerous times, memories can fill many empty spaces. On a summer Sunday afternoon during the season, it’s not an uncommon quest to find a suitable open space on the lawns. But, you do find a spot, spread out your blanket, set-up your food and beverages and soak up the sun and air, all while music literally spans the grounds.