Let's face it... if you live in the mid-west, the northeast, the mid-atlantic, and even the deep south, this has been one very long winter! The entire eastern half of the country seems to have grown weary of dreary, cold, snowy days and is desperate for spring-- this could just be me, but I doubt it.
Here are some ways I am coping with this seemingly interminable winter: by focusing on the beauty that still abounds in these frosty days; by reveling in the sun when it shines, bathing in its warmth as it streams through my windows in the late afternoon; by getting outside and just breathing in the fresh air, letting it fill my lungs and rejuvenate me; and by celebrating the occasional, warm days that have been interspersed with the cold.
Planning garden projects has been helpful. So have tending to my houseplants and bringing in fresh flowers from the grocery store. Forcing bulbs in pots or bulb vases provides a way to bring a bit of spring and new life indoors. The dormancy of winter can feel like death after awhile, so focusing on new life is a way to counteract that.
Taking my camera outside also helps. Practicing photography is a way of staying in the present. When I am shooting, everything beyond the lens just fades away.
Yesterday morning, there was mist rising from the creek and ridges to the west of my house. With snow still on the ground from our most recent storm, the entire scene was magical. Looking through the bedroom window as the sun was beginning to rise, I felt as if I were being offered a glimpse into something rare and fine in the challenging, sometimes dirty world. This pulled me from beneath the fluffy, warm comforter. I zipped my long, down coat over my robe, pulled on my winter boots, and headed outside with my camera and discovered something even more magical than the mist.
Overnight, frost had settled on every leaf, seed head, blade of grass, and tree branch.
I had never examined frost this closely before.
Nor do I recall ever noticing that it resembled spines or thorns, protecting every surface in its icy embrace.
The four previous photos show a rose of Sharon bush, seed heads still intact.
Even the remnant of barbed wire fencing seems delicate when adorned with frost.
If you also live somewhere where the winter seems intolerable and far too long, how are you getting through?
Until next time...