Hello, Winter!


Did I say winter is the test? When else do you swing from abject boredom to fight-for-survival mode in a few brief hours? …When else do you wonder if you’ll ever again see the sun rise or cast your eyes on the naked earth? This is when the elements unless their fury. And this is when you have time to really savor what is going on….The elements are howling, tingling, rushing, and they come out punching. Sometimes you struggle to search for a muse that speaks on a positive note in winter…Winter gives you the time to really practice all the skills you honed during gentler times.

The Garden in Every Sense and Season, Tovah Martin

Admittedly, our winter in the Pacific Northwest west of the mountains is milder than much of the country in the winter months. That’s one of the reasons we like it. We get frost, and occasional snow, even sometimes big snow, and frequently dip below freezing. But whether we have to live in snow drifts waist-high or settle for the occasional flurry, our winter is like all winters out of the sunbelt. Short of sunlight such that 4:30 in the afternoons appear to be the middle of the night, sunrise waits until long after the delivery of the morning paper. I am most challenged in winter to be productive, even creative, and I must learn to accept that better and take it as quite alright. I am a Worker Bee; it’s in my midwest genes and I practiced and perfected it in my careers as a teacher - teachers know no weekends without guilt - and as gift shop owner, both of which required a bit of 24/7 mentality.

It’s hard to believe our garden will grow again looking out upon the deadness, the brownness, the starkness of it now. But I know it will, mostly, and I take heart in the wonder of the seasons.

All in all, though - really, now - does not winter seem a whole heck of a lot longer than summer?!

I started out yesterday to blog Three Things for Thursday, never got to finish it, then decided I’d just do Five Things for Friday, and here it is Saturday, and Six Things for Saturday seems out of the question now.

Well, there’s always Seven Things for Sunday. Or not. November/December Tub o’ Books is around the corner. Stay tuned.

©Wendy McNaughton

©Wendy McNaughton

Oh, there is ONE thing more. I am continuing to sketch each day in December as I promised myself I would, and I’ll post them at the end of the month. (Many need finishing, straightening up and dashes of color.) Another artist who inspires me to draw is Wendy McNaughton, an illustrative journalist I have highlighted elsewhere on my site. She does the sketches in the New York Times and elsewhere that catch the news of the day and popular culture. Here is a wonderful short video of her on a PBS documentary interview series.

Perhaps you have not yet discovered my treasure trove of people in the arts whose work I love - dead and alive! - and who inspire me. You can find them here and it is a work in progress always. (In the blog index, it is listed as Artists Who Inspire Me.)