winter here is...
shot through with color
on some sunny mornings
(and on some cloudy mornings)
when cold is
an unsoft white
then winter here is
except for brittle,
that isn't snow
like childhood without
I miss winter, real winter that comes from brown and gray and barren trees etched black against a rose-gold sky, the kind that paints every color of the rainbow into white down coverlets and transforms night-black into silver-blue.
But that is just me. I'm getting over it. This year, winter is incidental, except for its intrusion into my home with the cold that is colder because I've lost 25 pounds of baby and insulative water weight. Christmas was almost incidental. Our tree is still up because we've not had time to take it down, because I like its position in our living room, because the Christmas lights are just so comforting.
Yesterday, Pete and I braved our southern frost for a foray into Charleston, a photography trip for freezing and finding the sun on freezing flowers that were still blooming in a cemetery (thanks to a God seeing to it that the even lilies are clothed - in splendor that belies the finger-numbing, nose-encasing cold). It was hard not to get swept up into it. Pete had to drag me away, and then we ran back to the car.
Even with company in town, our days are shorter, lived up in little practical things: a clogged toilet, finding some delicata squash to replace the potatoes in that recipe (who replaces potatoes??? Oh, the things I have given up for my husband...), changing diapers, sorting maternity clothes/nursing clothes/work clothes/everyday clothes (I have four wardrobes, did you know?), waking and sleeping and waking and trying to wake, and planning meals and grocery shopping and using paper places so there aren't so many dishes, getting my computer repaired... It is a good time, a frustrated time, a fast time, a slow time. Ecclesiastes never explains that the times for everything can be all at the same time, and to live this without trying to control the times or change the times or legislate yourself to keep up with them means that nearly every moment is full of something, and isn't it beautiful when you realize what is happening?
It is so good. Seeing my husband with new patience for Piper, finding another ounce of strength to give I didn't know I owned, the triumph of beds made and dishes done, the laughter of my daughter with her grandparents, the soft, warm cuddling that comes between the crying, the trying that I haven't tried, precious gems of conversation and I love you and I love you too... It is so hard, but it is so good.
In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?Indeed, what can man do? Or toddler or baby or time itself - or the lack of it?
- Psalm 118:5-6
There are so many words in my head, in my heart, courage offered and received, prayers given and heard, comments from friends who know and from friends who are glad that I know, praises for pondering and proffering and sharing in another day when time is not so expensive as it is now. I am taking it all in, pouring it out here where you can't see and I can't write, and there is color and there is wonder in this frost-pinched cold world of mine, color and rescue and patience and learning to trust and live when I don't have a prayer for a plan.
I am so glad for winter mornings, even here...
(Image © Informal Moments Photography)