Winter, To Me

Winter is cold crispy snow; it is blustering wind and creaking house walls; it is crackling fires and wood-smoke on the air; it is frost sparkled windows and dark leaden skies.

Winter with heavy evergreen brightness and light crystal blue afternoons; it is warm soups on the stove and spicy cakes with coffee; it is Christmas; it is New Years; it is slow days within ones house.winter

Bright rosy children’s cheeks and red noses to match; it is planning; it is silence; it is bundles of woolen frumpiness and braveness of boots.

Winter is spicy curries and stews; deep reds and dark blues; hot tea and cookies; the radiant heat of a stove.

Flurried whiteness and gentle star dusted nights; It is hidden and secret; plain, stark and austere. It is contrast and seamless binding of earth, water, and air. It is surprisingly bright berries and visiting birds. Winter’s wonder is in its editing and the force of its emphasis. Perhaps that is what makes it a time of illuminations.

©Ilona, Ilona’s Reflecting Pool

Replay, Seasons in a Woman’s Life

This is probably the last I will do of ‘replays’, I didn’t save much of my material when I updated or deleted things from my website. But this is one that I like to reread, just to remind myself when I feel overwhelmed by the clamor of this modern life.

(Jan 21, 1999)

Seasons and women are twining together within my thoughts, the blurring and disintegration of the two, and our losses because of it. The thread of explanation:

We (our society and our own selves within it) try to create a seasonless environment. Changes and the need to make adjustments just make us irritable, such interference with our plans and schedules! We get this false sense of control from heating, cooling, and humidifying systems, from the mini environments of our cars, homes, and offices, and it extends into our mental and emotional environments. We have these ideal pictures of what we will accomplish and how we will fit living into our frameworks so carefully wrought. But weather, electrical supply, and other personalities don’t always amenably comply, and we wake up exhausted and disappointed from trying to form our world. That can be a blessing, you know: to step outside of the perfect, tight, and well-run schedules. There is even a cliche’ for it…smelling roses.

In a woman’s life there is such a crush of busyness that runs from the mid-twenties to the mid- thirties. It seems we must become so many titles and fulfill so many expectations that we build our card houses precariously balancing everything and hoping all the while that all will “just stand steady”. Please, please, please.

But life as a whole is a progression of seasons, seasons of learning, seasons of doing, seasons of resting. There are beginnings and progressions and endings, and we are wise to observe such things. Because we may artificially mask the changes of the seasons does not always mean we should. Our means are tools for us to make our adjustments, not our weapons for fending off phases forever. We would not choose only sunny days all the time if we really thought carefully about it, and we would not stay fixed at twenty years old, or in a high state of romance, either, if it was static and false. A woman’s life has phases like the moon and seasons of nature, each with its own particular joys and chores.

If I garden like crazy, working on too many plans, where is my joy in the June’s special rose effects? It will not be repeated for another year and maybe not in that special way in a lifetime. So, seasons of marriage, and children, of skills and production, of caring and being cared for, wax and wane. We have a marvelous skill of discernment of time, and we have only the need to take the time to put it to use. “Lord, teach me to number my days”.

Take Time To Smell The Roses

Roses I adore has a quote from LILIES OF THE FIELD by Anna Quindlen. Read the whole speech. think about it a bit, maybe add a new blog to your blogroll.

People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say.