Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cold: Thursday's Reflection

Now that winter has finally come to Minnesota, Nanook of the North has made an appearance. 

The other morning I walked to our grandson's school for my weekly volunteer job of shelving books in the library. Even though we live only three blocks away from the school, I encased myself in winter gear, nearly prepared enough for an adventure across the frozen tundra with sled dogs.

Wool socks? Check
Long underwear under corduroy pants? Check
Turtleneck and bulky sweater? Check
Itchy scarf around my neck? Check
Heavy below zero parka worn only a couple times a year? Check
Earmuffs? Check
Woolen Scandinavian hand knitted mittens? Check
Snow boots? Check
Kleenex in the pocket for steamed up glasses? Check
Hood up? Zipper zipped? Check

I don't mind winter. I prefer winter clothes, and I love winter comfort food--meatloaf and acorn squash and pasta, lots of pasta. I have quilts and slippers and shawls, but our new windows do an excellent job of diminishing the extreme cold. I love the beauty of the snow, the silence of the snow, and the safety I feel when I am inside looking out at the snow. But when I do have to be out and about our car warms up quickly, and I rejoice in the luxury of seat warmers. 

 No, I don't mind winter, but I know you might not like it, and so I am willing to commiserate with you and wonder why we choose to live in this land of ice and snow. I am willing to wail with you about how long winter drags on and even though we have had many unseasonably warm days and little snow, you are sick of it already. I know, I know, I say. Isn't it awful?

I am not being honest with you, however, for I welcome this cave time, a time of both intense growth and deepening, but paradoxically, a time of rest.

                          Let the dawns 
                          come late,
                          let the sunsets
                          arrive early.
                          let the evenings
                          extend themselves
                          while I lean into
                          the abyss of my being…

                          Let me seek solace
                          in the empty places
                          of winter's passages
                          those vast dark nights
                          that never fail to shelter me.
                                       from "Winter's Cloak"
                                                Joyce Rupp

An Invitation
Are you a winter whiner or a winter welcomer? I would love to know.

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