It seems weeks now since we have felt Mother Nature’s wrath with one storm after another and bitter cold wind chills biting us as we attempt to brave the outdoor elements. When I was a child growing up in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, I remember all the fun we enjoyed outdoors sledding and building snowmen, one after another. We had bright red cheeks and runny noses from long days outdoors bundled in our snowsuits, mittens and boots. But youth views the weather differently. These days I am content to remain in the indoor warmth and view the neighborhood from the inside out.
My husband surprised me with a bouquet of pink tulips for Valentine’s Day which I immediately put into a vase on the kitchen counter. What a stark contrast these blooms provide from the harsh reality of snow and cold outdoors. There is beauty inside and out.
I love to watch for animal tracks from the upstairs windows and today found some in the backyard. My husband informed me that there were plenty of them near the foundation of the house where the rabbits seek warmth. So I had to take a few photos to recall those days come next summer.
In elementary school in Germany, our son Tom kept a journal and identified the various leaves the class identified on field trips taken outdoors. On winter field trips outdoors, the children were taught to observe and identify the tracks they found: deer, rabbits, squirrels, etc. This winter must be a difficult one for the animals outdoors. One of our favorite and magical times in the village of Schweindorf came when my husband visited at Christmas time. We took a Christmas eve walk in the quiet outdoor after dark. Big, soft snowflakes started to fall as we walked and talked and took this scene in. It is forever with us.
Many in the Northeast are bracing themselves for another Nor’easter and blizzard. At times like these, it is hard to fathom those hot, humid summer days. These are the contrasts that people in New England experience, embrace and accept as their lot. When it becomes too much, they vacation in warmer climes. I, however, prefer my four seasons and accept what comes. As children in Massachusetts, I do not recall grumbling about the weather. It was just a fact of life.
In life we either learn to adjust and adapt or we move on. For now there is so much beauty in life’s simple pleasures. Today I will take them all in and hold them close. What will you remember of this day in winter?