holidays

Winter

December 12, 2016

Frost, ice, and some wet snow arrived today. It’s bittersweet. I love what the winter represents, a captured moment of stillness, the crunch of ice beneath my boots, red-cheeked children racing down hills on sleds

WINTER

 

 

but winter often makes me feel inadequate. Those endless days when there is no school, the days when I can’t get to the store, and I’ve run out of Pinterest projects to entertain children wrapped with impenetrable ennui. There are that morning of desperation when the school’s closed yet again, and I have the whole day to fill, and I know my work, will go again, undone.

Perhaps that isn’t the point; I should embrace the chaos winter brings.

Those lazy moments I can have a cup of something warm without having to usher children early from their beds, days filled with warm stews and hearth baked bread. Olympics of Candyland, Twister and more hands of uno than I can count. The opportunity to put my work aside and try the exotic, time-consuming dessert recipe with four enthusiastic tasters. A chance to glide across the icy ponds after lacing skates yet again and the ballet of children barely upright yet as graceful as a bead of frost sliding down a pane.

I’m starting to crave those moments already.

It brings to mind one of my favorite poems.

Winter: My Secret

Christina Rossetti, 18301894

I tell my secret? No indeed, not I;
Perhaps some day, who knows?
But not today; it froze, and blows and snows,
And you’re too curious: fie!
You want to hear it? well:
Only, my secret’s mine, and I won’t tell.

Or, after all, perhaps there’s none:
Suppose there is no secret after all,
But only just my fun.
Today’s a nipping day, a biting day;
In which one wants a shawl,
A veil, a cloak, and other wraps:
I cannot ope to everyone who taps,
And let the draughts come whistling thro’ my hall;
Come bounding and surrounding me,
Come buffeting, astounding me,
Nipping and clipping thro’ my wraps and all.
I wear my mask for warmth: who ever shows
His nose to Russian snows
To be pecked at by every wind that blows?
You would not peck? I thank you for good will,
Believe, but leave the truth untested still.

Spring’s an expansive time: yet I don’t trust
March with its peck of dust,
Nor April with its rainbow-crowned brief showers,
Nor even May, whose flowers
One frost may wither thro’ the sunless hours.

Perhaps some languid summer day,
When drowsy birds sing less and less,
And golden fruit is ripening to excess,
If there’s not too much sun nor too much cloud,
And the warm wind is neither still nor loud,
Perhaps my secret I may say,
Or you may guess.

How will you pass those frost filled days?

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