Anyone who knows me knows I am always cold. Always.
New York winters are self-explanatory but summers are as bad. Air conditioning! It’s why you’ll never see me without a shawl in my bag. I’ve been known to duck out of a restaurant to grab my spare shawl from the car. The only redeeming factor of air conditioning is I can go outdoors to warm up!
So, with such an aversion to the cold, why am I devoting a blog to winter and how much I love it? Because of the trees. For me, winter is when the trees come into their glory. I love seeing them stand graceful and tall, shorn of their leaves.
Bone structure; people attribute the beauty of women like Katherine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, and the model, Imam to their exquisite bone structure. It’s the same for trees, reaching up to the grey winter sky with their skeletons unadorned, their branches raised in a hallelujah proclamation.
I first fell in love with winter forests when I used to drive to Michigan to visit a friend. Summer woods are soft and huggy but you don’t get to see into them. Driving west along Route 80 in January, I’d steal a second from the road to peek into the woods where I could see deep and wide, viewing it as I imagine deer, rabbits, fox and the like see it; even conjuring up the trek of a few Native Americans making their way home. (All this speculation when my eyes were back on the road)
Then, when I moved to the House of Mars, and it came with its own canopy of woods I was always surprised to see that there are houses just above me – in winter.
See the house? It’s just left of center.
In summer, they don’t exist – out of sight, out of mind.
But it wasn’t until Marcos came in to my life that I really began to like winter. Well, almost. Bundled against the cold we venture out in the early morning with trees our stationary companions. Walking slowly along the same route every day gives me the opportunity to notice things I never notice when driving or running. And in winter I notice even more. Trees and bushes, heavy with leaves, blend into each other, but in winter they glory in their uniqueness.
But let me say no more. It’s their show.
My appreciation of winter isn’t limited to my eyes. My ears notice too. The brook that flows through my little community is louder, clearer, with no leaves to muffle the sound.
Rhododendrons have the amazing power to shrink when the temps dip below 32, only to bounce back as soon as the mercury starts to rise. But while they’re momentarily paper-thin, the wind turns them into wind chimes.
Before I go inside, let me introduce you to my new winter best friend.
And let’s check in on my summer best friend.