Saturday, March 9, 2013

Of Stars and Winter Walks

    I remember (where has the time gone) a few years ago, when oldest son Zeb was between jobs and we walked on a sunny day at nearby Bisset Park. It was a year of "many snows, "and I was glad to have on my hiking/snow boots because most of the paved trail was wet with snow, though there were foot prints you could step into. The sun shone through as the trees were bare, and it became almost like a sunny spring day in temperature. Winter walks can be nice or (as in the case of the Great Backyard Bird Count) incredible frigid and uncomfortable. As I get older I seem to tolerate the harshness less and less. If we are in the midst of climate change I wish the harsher weather would be left behind.
    But, spring or winter, nature seems to have a need to "jut" out in front of us. In December,
(this is late winter now but I am thinking back) I was out at midnight because I was told there'd be an array of meteorites or "falling stars" shooting all over across the sky. Granted, it was cold and I only stayed out on my deck a little over 10 minutes, so I only saw 2 or 3. They were tiny, brief, spurts of light streaking across the sky, faint punctuations in the sky, and not the dazzling fireworkslike display I was hoping for. Nature can do that, not making much of a splash. Certainly in winter, the colors are hidden, the trees lay dormant, the birds have fled. We like to have the colors of nature around us all the time, but winter pushes them away from us, perhaps to appreciate them even more when they do come back around. Thoreau may have considered winter his favorite season, but I guess you would have to say that in an area with such long winters. I was born in Massachusetts but have no interests in being there in winter!

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