"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter Green


Branches are as bare as they're going to get and new growth is weeks away. I can see the river through green-furred skeleton arms. Singers in the bird choir are still winter wren and flicker, nuthatch and chickadee, kinglet and junco.

Air is cold, moist and gray, somehow gray even when the sun shines. A still, quiet gray; breathless, waiting.

River runs strong and clear - liquid jade revealing smooth stones. Often freezing on Toby's fur after an exuberant swim, becoming glittery diamonds adorning his broad chest.

There is a surprising amount of green everywhere: moss and sword fern that thrive in these exact conditions. Cold and damp - a time when not much else moves, let alone grows into newness. Green glowing the brightest on the grayest of days, somehow creating light out of the shadows. Looking dusty and almost invisible in the half-hearted light of winter's sun.

It's hard not to think about what's missing, what the spring will bring soon enough. It's hard to breathe air that holds not one kiss of warmth and to allow the cleansing cold all the way in. It's hard to love winter green when a heart longs for just one moment spent lying in sweet summer grass.

Memories stored away throughout the summer to pull out at such times are faded like fir branches in lifeless light, offering no more satisfaction than shiny magazine pictures of tropical places where people romp without care at the edge of the ocean.

I walk and breathe and search - eyes ready to catch the first violet, ears ready to hear the first robin song, shoulders ready to feel the soft comfort of a sun whose power is returned. Winter green within and without, holding me still in a life that feels stripped of all but shadows, skeletons, and gray waiting; that also promises spring will arrive at exactly the right time.

31 comments:

LauraX said...

Beautifully articulated Deb. It is so interesting to me, as just this morning all I could think was how satisfied I feel at the limited palette of winter here in NH. I miss the warmth and the bright colors of spring, summer and autumn, yet there is a lovely feeling of deep rest in the muted view out my window. All is welcome, my mantra of acceptance is rising up again.

Lilith said...

I'll have to wait until late April for my green, or early May. I do miss the green.

Wanda said...

I am ready for light; however, I am practicing being here now.

yaya said...

Beautiful post that captures the lovely image of winter. Each season has it's beauty and it's hassles! Right now we are in the throws of an ice storm. Snow will follow, but this is Feb..it comes every year and I think there is a comfort in that! It makes spring so much more welcomed, but I don't want to wish my life away so I'll find the beauty in my walks as you have. I'll pray we don't lose power and I'll make sure I can get to work because our patients always make it in for surgery!

Stacy Crawford said...

Each season does have it's own particular beauty and nusances. I'm glad you found a beautiful spot.

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

Oh, beautiful! Yes, the green in winter gives us a glimpse of hope amidst the darkness and reminds us that beneath the cold and dark, life flourishes and soon bursts out into spring.
As long as we live, there's always hope. We only need to let it shine brightly in our heart to keep us going despite adversities.
I really love this blog. It goes right down to the core of my heart.

Retired English Teacher said...

I have no words. You have again spoken what is in my heart.

Wanda..... said...

I enjoy the waiting for Spring...just knowing it will come is enough for now!

Jessica Nelson said...

Wow, love how you pull it all together with that last line! Beautiful post.

Donna said...

I'm reading between the lines and guessing it's been an awfully long winter for you, Deb...who so deserves an early spring! So wonderfully written are your words and yet so deeply felt. Hang in there...spring is coming, friend!!!!...Hugs, Donna

deb colarossi said...

It's February.... and here we go into unfurling.

just beautiful.

#1Nana said...

Yesterday I saw our resident pheasant strutting under the brush at the edge of the lawn. His vibrant colors contrasted dramatically with the winter palette of gray, brown and deep green. If our pheasant is out strutting, spring can't be far behind.

Amber said...

Beautiful words, woman.
I am with you in this waiting and wanting.

love.

:)

Teresa aka JW said...

Very beautiful. I have to rely on my bad memory to hang onto the joy of spring, summer, fall right now--in this pounding winter. I miss the green outside and...in my wallet.

T

Jerri said...

At the end of the memorial service I attended last weekend, every guest was invited to take a handful of beans from a bowl on the altar. The beans, grown by Jess's brother, were meant to be reminders that the possibility of growth lies within, even when you can't see or feel it.

You are so wise to look for and recognize the green in these gray times.

Sending big, big love, Light and warmth.

Ann Best said...

A very imagistic and evocative post. And thank you for commenting on my snow poem. The world buried in snow, or rain, bare-limbed and gray, waits for spring's bright colors. But each season has its own beauty, and you capture the beauty of winter so well.
Ann Best, Author

kario said...

The image of Toby's chest sparkling with his own special brand of bling gave me such a smile! I love picturing you two out there experiencing the wonders of your surroundings, each in your own way, but together.

Love.

Carrie Link said...

Hard to remember.

JenniferL said...

I really love the style of this post, especially the first three paragraphs. Nice exploration and all too true - Spring will indeed arrive at the exact right moment.

B. WHITTINGTON said...

The look of your blog with sea shells and colors of the sea made me happy before I even started reading your post. You've captured winter well with your words. Not so much what I see out my window right now - as we're seeing a much darker side with lots of ice and snow. The wind has been roaring through here and we nearly froze going for groceries. But now we're tucked inside in warm pjs watching the darkness spread across the snowy fields and highway.
Thanks, Deb, for sharing your beautiful writing with us.
Blessings on your evening. Your Ohio friend, Barb

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

This is beautiful. You are such a talented writer.

Sandi said...

I love the cadence; the poetry of this piece. Makes me want to hop in the car and take a walk with you and Toby down to the river! Do I detect a bit of slowness here? Are you minding your healer?
Love and hugs to you!

colbymarshall said...

I'm soooo ready for spring, so much that I was prepared to assassinate that groundhog if he saw his shadow, lol.

Terri Tiffany said...

You go beyond the words and that's what I enjoy most:)

Linda Hoye said...

Beautiful! I am eagerly awaiting springtime as well. The signs are there - the return of the Canada Geese, the landscapers pruning the trees at the office where I work, and my crocus bulbs poking their heads up in my garden.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I should send you the photo I took yesterday at Lake Junaluska where there were pretty violet flowers pushed up from the earth -lovely sign of spring admist all our snow and ice and cold!

You are such a gifted writer, Deb.

She Writes said...

Deb,

This is so beautifully wrought. I am in the NW with you. I know the ache and the answers you write of. One of my favorite pieces you have written.

Pam said...

Winter does have a "half-hearted" light Deb. Our summer light in this southern hemisphere has often been described as harsh. It washes out the beautiful colours more obvious in the softer morning palettes of sage greens, greys and pinks. Our "green-furred skeleton arms" are more often dry lichen encrusted and easily broken.
I enjoy your writing. Experiencing your environment through you.
I feel priveleged that you allow us to share in your thoughts.
I am thinking of you as you wait for your Spring.

Carol............. said...

Yes, eventually our winters do turn into spring, whether as the season or in our hearts (in our hearts if we allow it).

Have a good week, Deb...

Donna said...

I wish you lived closer...you would be such an interesting friend to have! I can tell you think, feel and care deeply. You take time to smell the roses and sort out the realities of life while still enjoying God's smallest miracles.
Love to see that SOMEwhere things are blooming...still frozen tundra here. Happy owl watching!

Kathryn Grace said...

What strikes me here is how ready you are to get on with life: "Eyes ready to catch the first violet, ears ready to hear the first robin song, shoulders ready to feel the soft comfort of a sun whose power is returned."

I am grateful for your yearning for new growth, new life, the return of warmth and light. It speaks to me of a healing soul, of a strength that knows how to wait and how to look forward, while enduring and responding to the present, however unendurable it may seem.