Feb 2014

Me vs Old Man Winter


Just getting in from shoveling yet another foot of snow, I am beginning to accept that winter wins.

But, while I paused amidst the heavy shovels, what also came through is the undeniable truth of the beauty of this season, and all the happiness it can bring. That is, if one can just accept it and not imagine that there is another choice.

Well, there are choices of course, being a snow-bird is one, but that is certainly not universal, and definitely not one for me.

So, back to acceptance. Research has shown that when faced with the inflexibility of a situation, we humans are apt to settle into a quiet kind of peace with our lot. Surprisingly, that is not true of people with plenty of choice.

But, that's not where I am going with this. Instead, I think we must look back to appreciate where we are. Think about all those dog days of summer and how you'd pay any price (carbon foot print notwithstanding) to escape them, and you'd probably find yourself smack in the same situation.

Then, if you can find it in your heart, you will see the season of winter is surely a generous one. It brings us closer to home and its hearth, through hot dishes, like hearty stews. Sitting by a spirited fire and enjoying time in its wholeness with those you love, and appreciating their company. Reveling in the transformation of the landscape only given by snow.

Below ground there are things happening, too. In a year where there is abundant snow, vitality is brought to sleeping life (think micro and macro). Underground nutrient recycling is going strong -- the moisture brought by snow help propel bacteria and fungi to do their important stuff. Poor man’s nitrogen is the phrase, but this goes far beyond that.

So next time you curse the forecast and wince at the white stuff piling up, remember that in the long haul, the season is full of opportunities to reassess and revive.

Now, let me put some hot chocolate on!