The Comfort of Winter
I am thinking today about how I’ve always hated fall for being the death of summer, but I’ve never split that from my love of winter. In a short story, I gave the narrator the sentiment that he loved Mississippi best in winter when color kicked in. Yellow grass, orange sage, black limbs against the clarified sky. In summer, Mississippi is just green, green, green. This year, the comfort of winter is drawing me in.
The dulled winter sky feels no need to blare itself into the world. Bare limbs whisper their secrets, creaking. On our Mississippi farm, walking through the copse of trees we children called the woods, we could see the vines swinging, no longer covered by green. We called everything the wrong name. The small gathering of trees a woods, orange sage wheat, the thick vine a grape vine. But the magic was real.
How perverse is this sentiment of the comfort of winter ? I don’t know, but it’s as if winter’s starkness is telling me it’s okay to be still. Okay not to insist on vibrancy and progress and the next big thing. That life continues in the off-season. That perhaps the off-season is the reason. We slog through the heat of summer, and extravagant dying of fall, and insistent new life of spring so we can enjoy the comfort of winter. For then the leafless limbs create space for us to see God.
Grey caresses like the soft fur of the bunny. A snapped twig builds a discordant tune. The cold damp seeps through the sole of my shoe into the soul of my heart. The world assures me those who pause are valued. Stillness heals. In winter, toughness that goes unpraised throughout the year sings into its joy. I am grateful to be given the comfort of winter.
Hope you, too, can enjoy the comfort of winter