Weeks into winter, we were 17" below average for snowfall, and then came the storms, one after another, and they dumped enough snow to make up the deficit.
After the first storm it seemed we were living in a snow globe. Snow covered rooftops, trees, and streets ... for days. It was beautiful.
After the snow came, I realized I missed the hush of a snow-covered landscape and the crisp air and blue sky that follows.
But winter is cold, often frigid, dark, and sometimes it seems like spring is just so far away.
One way to get through it is to get outside.
This is Snow Sculpting Week.
For the past 15 years, I've made a winter beauty for my Happy Snow Days greeting card that goes out in December. Sometimes I plan ahead and make one in January or February for the following year. Other times I take a chance and hope for snow early in November or December ... and it's always worked out.
Until it didn't.
For the first time in 15 years I didn't have a winter beauty for my winter greeting card. It was a mix of disappointment ... and relief.
Every year I shiver at the thought of going outside to start another ... afraid I won't come up with anything as good as what I've done before ... worried I won't find the right materials or create the right expression.
And it's cold.
Each one takes about two hours from start to finish.
I struggle with the thought of heading out into the cold and wring my hands and furrow my brow with concern. About halfway through, I have serious doubts. I take photos from the left and right to gain a better perspective ... to figure out what working, and what's not. Forage again for a different leaf, sprig, or twig to make the mouth right. Or the nose.
My fingers get stiff with the cold and by the time I'm done, the cold has reached my core.
Creating, making, and building things come with challenges. It's to be expected. With each winter beauty there was doubt, but when they were done, I felt a sense of accomplishment, glad I braved the cold and pushed aside my doubts.
But I cannot ignore that sense of relief I felt when it didn't snow.
So I've been mulling it over. ... will I make another, or have I done all I can do with them?
How do you know when to stop? When persistence no longer applies. When walking away from a project you've enjoyed is the right thing to do?
There's plenty of snow on the ground, but I'm not sure ...
December marks time like no other month.
Tomorrow the winter solstice brings us the shortest day of the year followed by the longest night ... and days later, the end of one year and the beginning of another.
I’m thinking about how I can add light to my days and mark new beginnings. Not just new beginnings on the calendar, or the light from longer days, but the light and change that comes from doing things differently, seeing things in new light, and being curious.
Last week we had a snow storm ... a big one. Most of us got anywhere from 18 - 24 inches. And as it so often happens, the next day it was glorious. Sunny and bright and fresh.
After the storm, we took a ride ... uptown to State Street, left at Longfellow Square ... and there it was. A rainbow. Shimmering in the windblown snow hanging in the air.
This week's calendar ...
Thursday is Egg Nog Day. Are you a fan?
You'll also see that today is Poet Laureate Day. Because the statue in the rainbow photograph is poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, I want to share a post I did a while ago on blackout poetry.
Follow this link to read more about Longfellow and blackout poetry, and give it a try. Use it to create a poem. Stick it to the refrigerator or mail it to someone. It may add new light to your day.
After all, you could be a poet and don't even know it.
Even if you don't want to try the exercise, click through to read Longfellow's poem, Holidays anyway. It's fitting for this holiday season ... one that is so very different from so many others. Read it and let me know what you think.
And if you create a poem, share it with me. I'd love to read it.
p.s. There's also a link in the post to Robert Frost's poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. You can read the poem and find out why it's one of my favorites.
Exploring the art and writing of short story memoir