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Winter

Whatever the official designation, winter for me is the season that starts with the first snowfall that stays around to be admired.

This is the season to look out the window and see juncos, chickadees, and hords of sparrows picking seeds out of the snow.

It's the season when I can look outside and be glad that I live in a time and place where central heating is the norm.

Winter is a season when the sky can be a gray roof over a landscape where the empty fingers of sleeping trees reach through a pale blanket of snow.

It is a season when the sky can be an infinite depth of blue over a glittering sea of snow.

Winter is the time of year when shoveling snow replaces mowing grass as a typical domestic activity. For me, it the time of year when I stay inside rather more than I like. A man with legs that work as well as mine do finds ice and snow a trifle more challenging than they were a mere fraction of a century ago. I still like this season, though. It's the time of year when I can take a deep breath outside and feel nothing but clean, cold air. And the stark landscapes appeal to my aesthetic sense.

Then, there are winter nights. This is the time of year when most of the water vapor is frozen out. I can look up and see Cygnus flying down the Milky Way.

The stars of Orion shine like streetlights, leading my eyes out into the galaxy. I can let memory and imagination wander, and consider what could happen. My ancestors, and my wife's, were settlers, not explorers. For many reasons, they decided to leave the world they knew and came here.

I'm glad that Ole Hovde Senior and Marie Gulbrandson, Christian Kongelf and Martha Marie Pjaaka, John Gill of Dublin, Ellen Hackett of County Tipperary, Louis Kaas, Casper Schluender of Bausenhagen, Juliana Zender, and all the rest, decided to take the long voyage and risked settling in a new world.

I think it is quite possible that, when technology and economics permit, people will set up housekeeping elsewhere. Maybe our grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, will relive the tradition of the Rineharts, Campbells, Shoemakers and Tanners, and settle a new world. If I'm still around, I hope they write.

Enough! It's getting cold out here.

     
   

Seasons

Winter
(you're here)
Spring Summer Fall
 

Holidays

Christmas Easter Memorial Day  
Labor Day   Armistice Day Thanksgiving
 
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Text is copyright Brian H. Gill 2001

 

I Love It Here! | This Season | Walking to Work | A House of Our Own
Attic Time | Things I Miss | In Praise of . . .
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This page last updated: December 19, 2010