Posts Tagged: snow

hello winter

image from www.flickr.com

Friday night.  After work we meet up with Carly for "beer o'clock" at our favouite local. Winter has returned today and it's tossing snow around the street like wispy ribbons.  I have refused to bust out my warm winter coat yet, and thus walking outside to head home in my inadequate coat makes the blustery wind more unpleasant than it might otherwise.  Hello winter. 

first snow

image from www.flickr.com

There are two really great "first snow of the season" experiences.  One is waking up to a layer of the stuff blanketing the world.  The other is looking up into a light at night and seeing it falling all around you.  

After standing under the light, trying to capture a picture and feeling the snow on my face and hair and seeing it dotting my glasses and my phone (camera), I walked home significantly lighter than I felt when I left.  Happy winter.

first snow, sort of

December 27-2011 Snow

It's been raining all day today. I was itching to get out for a walk early, but seeing the hunched people down there on the sidewalk bracing themselves against the weather got me finding things to do around here instead.  Eventually it got to the "go now or don't go" point so I layered on my rain jacket over my coat and went out.  

Me and my umbrella wandered a bit in the Harbourfront, took a few pictures and watched the people skate at the outdoor rink down by the lake and felt I like a wuss for putting the outing off.  I walked some more and then went up to the grocery store and on the way home got a bottle of wine then the rain changed to snow.  Apparently we had some snow when I was in Vancouver all those weeks ago, but I never saw it.  So technically, this is my first snow of the season. 

There are two really great "first snow of the season" experiences.  One is waking up to a layer of the stuff blanketing the world.  The other is looking up into a light at night and seeing it falling all around you.  

After standing under the light, trying to capture a picture and feeling the snow on my face and hair and seeing it dotting my glasses and my phone (camera), I walked home significantly lighter than I felt when I left.  Happy winter.

Snow falling in a streetlight:  Beautiful thing number eighty.  

a treasure to look upon it

I haven’t been writing much.  If you’re one of my regular friends I’m sure you’ve noticed.  Lists of beautiful things and posts of YouTube clips are not writing.  I’ve learned to accept the dry periods and assume the “writerly collector” in me is needing this time to just collect experience.  But it’s been bothering me – posting other people’s work and videos of other people are not going to bring you back, and I can’t stand the thought of losing any one of you.

Part of it is that I’ve been immersing myself in good books over my daily commute – and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.  In fact my excuse for staying with this job which is an hour’s trip from my home has always been that those two hours of travel time every day are reading time.  But the problem with immersing myself in books during this time is that I’m not paying attention to my favourite subject: that little space of world around me and the people in it.

By the end of winter I start feeling trapped by it – the darkness, the extended periods of painful temperatures, the ugliness.  Let’s face it – snow in the city is only beautiful when it first falls.  Then it becomes dirty mounds on sidewalks and on edges of parking lots and lining curbs everywhere.  I’m all about the changing seasons, I feel lucky that I live in such a climate – but by late January, I’m finished with this damned season. 

I’m sure it’s all related to a lack of sunlight.  In fact I know it – after an hour’s lunchtime walk in bright sunlight today I felt heady, almost drunk.  And the move to Daylight Time this past weekend has flipped some internal switch – I get to evening and find daylight and I’m noticeably happy.  Lots of my friends are still complaining about that lost hour of sleep – I’m practically giddy for it; I’d gladly sacrifice two hours to have Daylight Time back again.

I wish I was one to write myself through a down or difficult period.  The last few months of hunkering against the weather, coming out of the subway after work into the dark, the sequestering away from humanity and losing myself in other peoples’ stories – have all caused me to close off, and thus close off that well of stories. 

During today's lunchtime walk I stopped and looked ahead at a length of sidewalk on which there was no snow, no ice, no slush, no puddles; just a clear sidewalk under a sunny sky.  And when I stood there looking at it, I felt a sense of freedom I haven’t felt in more than a month, a welcome desire to get back outside of myself.

Sidewalk
 
That sidewalk, with the feeling of freedom the sight of it gave me, is beautiful thing number 24. 

As I walked on, one of my favourite song verses ran through my head:

You say you'll give me a highway with no-one on it
Treasure, just to look upon it
All the riches in the night

U2, from Rattle and Hum, 1988

Let’s call that little simple little verse, with its image so humble and idea so rich, beautiful thing 25, and my theme for escaping the bonds of winter.

I'm finding beauty – are you?

winter saturday celebrating

It's one of those most luscious winter Saturdays.  I watched large flakes falling down thick and heavy over my morning coffee, having a private celebration of the day of this daughter's birth twenty-six years ago.  Every year she is lovelier than she was before, and I am lucky to get to share in her life.

I love the nesting tendencies that take over in January.  And today, it's a rare, quiet Saturday, and all about the nesting - cooking, washing floors, cleaning in corners, washing rugs, throws and bedding, reading recipes, mandala painting and journalling.  And playing with random word magnetic poetry as I look out the window to a lovely January scene. 

celebrating winter with lazy coffee moments
and gorgeous chocolate secrets
that melt the ice
while dreaming of summer gardens with  you

Jan8-2011 Best 
I hope your Saturday is luscious too.

in which the universe chooses deep indigo blue

A few minutes ago, feeling unproductive and tired, as I usually do in late afternoon, I go into the kitchen at the office and peel an orange, which I hope will revive me somewhat, and appease the onset of hunger over my journey home. 

As I’m sectioning the fruit, I look out at the snow-covered picnic table on the rooftop patio and find a most gorgeous indigo cast to it and filling the atmosphere as far as I can see.  I can’t see that far – the sky is heavily overcast – the Toronto skyline, the thing I usually look at from this window, has disappeared.  

Whatever light is getting through those clouds to the landscape around me is reflecting on the layer of snow and creating this rich, velvety blue.  The houses and trees below are black shadows against it; and the glow from the streetlights has muted to soft incandescent spots, looking as they might in a cheesy scene on a Christmas card. 

I stand there and eat my orange and watch that colour, because I know it will be gone in a few minutes. 

I love to watch how the light changes, particularly in early mornings and at twilight time.  To see the subtle change in the light and the movement of the colours it paints is, to me, bearing witness to the magic of this planet.  Stopping to watch the light change causes me to slow down my thoughts, and just exist in tandem with the rhythm of the universe for a few moments.  And that’s as reviving as anything.