warmth

Bloged in life, love and marriage, seasons, time by rod Monday December 4, 2006

Yes, my normally contemplative brain grows more so at season changes. If you’ve been visiting here for any length of time, you’ll know this about me. The way I ramble on at the changes of seasons actually embarrasses me a bit. You must be thinking, “here he goes again.”
Of course my seasonal thoughts and emotions are contextual to our South Carolina climate, so if any of you would be willing to admit that you are also affected, perhaps your thoughts or emotions occur earlier or later than mine. Spring comes earlier and Fall comes later here than for many of my readers.
Yesterday was our first wintry day. Many of you would no doubt laugh at that adjective applied to yesterday had you experienced it, but when I walked outside between services to get a cup of coffee, it was at least 10 degrees colder than it had been when I got there an hour earlier. The sky was overcast and a chill hung in the air all day long. Last night, December’s “cold moon” was nearly full and shone brightly from behind a thin veil of broken, fast moving clouds.
I remember once riding in a van across the Pennsylvania turnpike on a cold winter day a couple decades ago. Allison looked out the window at the barren hillsides and brown grassy hollows and commented on its dreariness. I disagreed, and told her how I thought it was just as beautiful as any other season, but in a completely different way. At the time, there was little I enjoyed more than slowly walking through winter woods, looking for shape and line in the monochrome landscape, curiously following hollows carpeted with tall brown grass.
For years, I’ve not had time, occasion or opportunity to do that. As a result, it doesn’t excite me like it did back then. On the contrary, it rather depresses me. Long cold nights and short chilly days. One hunches over and moves quickly through the cold outdoors only to get from one building to another, from the house to the car or the car to the house. I seem to have forgotten how much different the experience is if you give yourself to it. For years, I’ve mourned as the colors of autumn flutter to the ground and the once shady trees expose us to the biting winds of winter.

I don’t know, I probably have the same thoughts and say the same things every year at the beginning of each season. But why do these thoughts seem so new and epiphanic every year? Change. It’s uncomfortable. It marks the passage of time. It’s the green light on a one-way street with all you’ve known in your rearview mirror.
Yesterday, as I drove home from church, chilled from the short jaunt to the car, I looked up into the cold, newly bare trees at the countless, huge, dense balls of mistletoe. Now that’s something that you don’t see in the summertime. Mistletoe.
I thought of warm lips. I thought of wintry, woodsy walks all bundled up with gloved hand in gloved hand and frequent pauses under those mistletoe laden bare branches. I thought of fireplaces, coffee, comforters, and Saturday mornings.
Winter ain’t all that bad.

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