Stern winter loves a dirge-like sound.
Oh yes I do...
and you will not convince me otherwise. It is 6:15 in the morning and I can see the outline of the bush off in the distance from my kitchen window. Those days of pitch dark mornings are fading. Light (spring) is creeping in, one second at a time.
Winter has always been very important to me, but this winter I have to say “Not a fan”. Those miserable, minus double digit cold, windy, with no snow, no sun days, have me wondering about that so called "favourite" thing. Does that sound like any fun to you?
I did venture out to that bush one warm day the first of this week, -23 degrees Celsius not including that biting wind chill, making it feel like -30. I knew I needed to get back there, longing to feel its arms around me. The tractor will take me halfway, the halfway that is wide open and not sheltered from those cold biting winds. The trees have always sheltered me from those biting winds, once I walk into their comforting arms. Oh yes that is what I needed. I could feel the warmth of its love, even with that brutal cold settling into my bones rather quickly.
No matter, I convinced myself I would do this as uncomfortable as it may be. I picked one of the many deer tracks tracking through the leftover snow, with icy patches and followed them till I made it to my favourite big old century maple tree. The tree I have been ignoring. I climbed up onto its branch and sat.
It seemed my tree had been missing me too. We sat there snuggled in, listening to the sounds that had been lost to me while I had cowardly huddled in the house trying to avoid this winter. A pounding, off in the distance echoes through the trees coming from the east. I smiled knowing things have never changed back here. A woodpecker, the one that had left holes in the trees that I had passed was still working. I could not see him, but his presence was echoing and loudly received, waking any creature of the forest that may still be sleeping. Loving the sound I closed my eyes and leaned back on my old maple friend.
Chick-a-dee-dee-dee, that familiar sound came from above. I opened my eyes to see two black and white beauties flitting from branch to branch above my head. Welcoming me back, no doubt, I said hello and smiled. The cold was settling in, even with my being sheltered from the wind. Those layers, upon layers, the ones I had pulled on anticipating this cold were no match against this bitterness. I shifted around trying to find some warmth that may have been hidden back there.
The sun which had always shared its warmth streams through the trees, bringing no relief, keeping its warmth to itself. Toughing it out as long as I could, I relented. It was just too uncomfortable, even with the music and the silence mixing together while I sat with my friends in nature. I had to leave. Hugging my century old maple I vowed to return soon. I am obviously not strong enough, these old bones of mine, sadly are not like they used to be. Defeated, I climbed down, hiked down the ridge just in case there was something I may have missed. I picked a deer trail to follow back to the tractor, always waiting to keep me out of those biting winds.
No matter, I know spring is coming. I have seen the signs.