Tag Archives: winter

In the slanted light

All the feathery grasses shine in the slanted light. It’s time to bring in the lawn chairs and wind chimes, time to draw the drapes against the wind, time to hunker down. Summer’s fruits are preserved in syrup, but nothing can stopper time. — from the poem “And Now it’s October” by Barbara Crooker Just when we …

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Showing off

“I’m lying in my room listening to the birds outside. I used to think they sang because they were happy. But then I learned on a nature show they’re really showing off.” — Jo Knowles So much for our romantic anthropomorphism.  But for a bird, maybe showing off is a cheerful sort of thing to …

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Filling the dark trees

Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.    ― Mary Oliver I saw more snow last week than I’ve seen any week since we lived in Ohio, and maybe more than any week ever in March.  It was hard to think of …

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Dressed in snow

“It felt as though the whole globe was dressed in snow. Like it has pulled it on, the way you pull on a sweater. Next to the train line, footprints were sunken to their shins. Trees wore blankets of ice..” ― Markus Zusak Just when I thought we were in for a fairly mild winter, …

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An echo from the past

Nothing is Lost by Noel Coward Deep in our sub-conscious, we are told Lie all our memories, lie all the notes Of all the music we have ever heard And all the phrases those we loved have spoken, Sorrows and losses time has since consoled, Family jokes, out-moded anecdotes Each sentimental souvenir and token Everything …

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Embracing winter

“Enduring winter is only a start– embracing winter is what you should strive for.  Winter gives a sense of purpose and saves one from a life of hedonistic self-gratification, lying around on a palm-shaded patio nibbling ladyfingers and posting selfies on Facebook.  You have promises to keep.  Miles to go before you sleep.  Also, a …

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Reality, freed

“Trapped by reality, freed by imagination.” — Nicolas Manetta* Okay, the holidays are history now.  The winter has set in, and it has been pretty COLD lately for most of us.  Time for a quick getaway.  Come with me a lovely little spot on Captiva Island, Florida.  I’ll set the scene for you. Everyone is …

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Nonetheless

Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless. — Terri Guillemets Even in summer, I love sleeping late.  My aversion to getting up in the morning is much greater in the winter, when the cold weather makes a snug warm bed all the more appealing. Despite this, …

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Of the soul

“Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Oddly enough, it’s my belief in the sentiment expressed here by Longfellow that underlies my enjoyment of visiting graveyards and cemeteries.  When one believes in the …

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Better throughout the year

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”― Laura Ingalls Wilder Do you have any favorite childhood memories of Christmas that bring you joy to this day?  I do, and I hope you do too.  …

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Different from the sum of its parts

“When I looked, I knew I might never again see so much of the earth so beautiful, the beautiful being something you know added to something you see, in a whole that is different from the sum of its parts. What I saw might have been just another winter scene, although an impressive one. But …

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Different kinds of weather

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” — Mark Twain Until this year, I might have accused Twain of exaggerating with this statement.  Now? Maybe not. It’s easy to forget that last spring seemed equally erratic at the time.  I was searching …

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Under the giving snow

“Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.” — Terri Guillemets I find it hard to believe that as I’m writing this (on March 7, two weeks before publication) I STILL see snow on the ground outside!  It’s melting in places, but most of the grass is still covered with it, and those nasty-dirty drifts …

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Ten thousand truths

“There are joys which long to be ours.  God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.”  — Henry Ward Beecher A year ago my post …

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When we sip tea

“When we sip tea, we are on our way to serenity.” —  Alexandra Stoddard With all the bad weather this winter has brought us, it’s definitely tea time.  So I couldn’t resist repeating my offer from one year ago today (which you can read about at the link below). Anyone who would like me to …

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As the magnet finds iron

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”  — Henry Ward Beecher As I write this, two weeks before publication, much of the country is in the grip of yet another …

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Beauty without color

“Beauty without color seems somehow to belong to another world.” — Murasaki Shikibu Walking through the Norfolk airport recently, I looked to my left and saw the scene pictured above.  Though most of the snow had melted, I thought at first it was a tree that was somehow still covered in snow.  However, on looking …

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Some kind of recreational activity

“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.” — Dave Barry I know people who have a genuine medical need for coffee, and I’m not one of them.  I have …

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It takes courage

“It takes courage to be crocus-minded…Highly irregular. Knifing through hard-frozen ground and snow, sticking their necks out, because they believe in Spring and have something personal and emphatic to say about it.” — Jo Sorley Deciding to have faith and hope isn’t always easy, but it is a decision, and one that comes more naturally …

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Repainting the landscape

“Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. …

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We hope it

“Our destiny often looks like a fruit-tree in winter. Who would think from its pitiable aspect that those rigid boughs, those rough twigs could next spring again be green, bloom, and even bear fruit? Yet we hope it, we know it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe After the difficulties of an especially harsh year, I …

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Places in our hearts

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”  — Gertrude S. Wister When we first moved to Virginia, I was delighted that the home we bought featured several camellias along the back fence.  They’ve grown impressively large, and since they bloom in winter, …

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We need quiet

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.” ― Ester Buchholz Of all the seasons, winter seems most linked with quiet; short days, long nights, the silence of snowfall and the calming blank canvas of …

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A white quilt

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll Snow can seem brutal when we have to shovel it, …

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Actually see

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.” ― Orhan Pamuk There’s a double blessing in opening our eyes to the world around us.  Not only are we …

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