These are the coldest days of the year.
We started the New Year with dire predictions of cloudy with a chance of snow ( on the hills and trees) and meatballs (on the dinner table). Two days of drip and drizzle, of willing grey clouds to descend as snow, of staying indoors and trying to keep warm–and then it was all over.
The dazzling sunshine is back, the crisp and cold wind has returned, and the cars are their usual frosted-over selves each morning.
Cold days are meant for knitting in the sunshine, for eating simple hot meals and for burrowing into warm beds at unthinkable evening hours.
I tend to count my blessings while melting into my toasty blanket-quilt combination. The electric blanket, the sunny home, Hema and her efficient housekeeping, the hot dogs and that handful of good friends who savor winter in the mountains. When one is warm and cozy and comfortable in a season, one wants the good times to just stay there.
Winter solstice has come and gone..the days are inching towards longer sunshine hours..people have begun to plan their visits in summer..water intake by doggies and me has been increasing. But the cold nights and winter sky had lulled me into a good place.
And then, last evening, while returning from our walk, I looked up at the yet-to-become-bare-horse chestnut trees and what looks down at me? Ruby red, fresh young leaves emerging from the highest bare branches of that tree!! A confused tornado of feelings swirled through my disbelieving mind.
Is it time for spring already?! Are these leaves some freak occurrence of Nature?! How can Winter come to an end just now,when I still have to do loads of winter knitting, drink twenty different types of warm soups, wear the rest of my winter gear, enjoy the warmth and comfort of that fantastic electric blanket?!
Though I am yet to get over that feeling of being cheated of this favorite season of cold, I had to (once again) relearn that bit of wisdom. When winter snow is on the mountains, can spring be far behind?! when new leaves start sprouting, can monsoons be on the horizon?! and yes, when rain and green foliage cover these hills in August, winter will be soon be back…
Life will go on, the seasons will keep changing and the wonder and miracle of Nature will continue to enthrall, enlighten and excite me.