As of late, I feel I’ve been rather obsessed with winter. It’s hard not to be…I have 6 foot piles of snow in my yard from the snow taken out of the driveway; I wake up to a brisk –15F more mornings than I can count these days; and whenever I look out my window, I see a huge mound of snow and ice teetering on the edge of the roof, seemingly waiting for some innocent squirrel or bird to hop underneath to finally come crashing down. But despite my seeming obsession, I’ve been reminded quite a bit lately that this too shall pass.

While Winter is notorious for bringing ice, snow, and frigid temperatures, it also brings with it light (although I tend to think it does this begrudgingly). During Autumn, the days became dark and dreary, but with the Winter comes the lengthening of the days. Each day, as I look out onto the frozen tundra-esque landscape, I notice it staying lighter just a bit longer in the evenings, and the sun peeping up over the horizon a bit earlier in the morning. And each day, as I am noticing these changes, it’s almost if one can hear the ancient maples groaning and stretching their gigantic arm-like branches toward the sky, their internal alarm clocks ticking more loudly in anticipation of that awakening soon amidst the sun and warmth. Even they know it won’t be long.

The animals also seem to notice the abundance of light these days. The birds seem to fly a bit higher among the clouds, and sing a bit more joyfully in the treetops. The littler animals don’t scurry quite as quickly, in want of a warm nest to burrow in to. The wind, apparently wanting to get in on the action too, seems a bit less blustery at times, almost as if it’s getting itself ready to breeze through the fields, to tell the wildflowers it’s secrets.

Yesterday, I had to run some errands, and I noticed that since the temperatures had gone up a bit, the snow had started to melt in some areas. This tiny bit of thawing was enough to bring on just a touch of the smell of Spring…that smell of newness and life; of green fields, wild flowers and gentle rain.

I know we have some time until Winter is officially over here in the “North Country”. But these things have given me hope that it will be here sooner than we think. Soon, I’ll be able to walk without the trouble of a bulky winter jacket, feeling a warm breeze in my hair rather than the cold, blustery wind that bites my nose and cheeks. No more mittens, no more gloves or boots. Just think of how much time I’ll have on my hands! I may just end up having time for that book I was going to read through the Winter…