Radnor Lake is one of my regular haunts. I try to walk there most every day. This allows me to watch each season melt into the next. It is often those last moments of one season, before the next settles in, that pulls on my heart in the most aching way. Fall is relished in Tennessee. It is when all of Nature is showing off, the finale of another splendid year. As the final leaves let go and autumn heads into Winter, it is sad to see that flaming show go, even though the cold months are best for painting in the South. It is this tug between the visual abundance this time of year, set against the restful quiet of the winter landscape, finally at peace, which holds me in crux. Those last bits of rich color, so striking on the fading winter palette, appear to be the lake’s encore. And then it is over.
In Winter, everything sleeps or seems to be at rest, at least. The silence of a quiet January day restores the soul in a number of ways. No noise to rest one’s hearing. The color squeezed out of the hills and trees to rest the eyes. Nothing much even to smell except the sharpness of the icy air. Hands are covered by mittens, ears by headbands or hats, wooly socks and fuzzy fleece insulate us from the texture of the day. Our faces feel a bite if it is windy, rainy or spitting snow. That seems only to accent the bundled up feeling of the season. Thoughts slow down as the brain takes a rest.
I like to get cold in the winter from being outside in it. It makes the hot shower more invigorating. The tea is more restorative as it slides down warming inside out. The spreading warmth is like feeling affection for someone except it happens with a mug and a bag of crumbled leaves for your own lonesome self. It is a quiet way to care. Maybe that is why mothers like to make hot chocolate or cider and serve hot bake cookies for red cheeked kids after they have sent them outside on a chilling day. Fresh air anytime is a good thing.
Spring comes early in this part of the world. There are only a few weeks of this nothing happening time of year left. I am indulging myself in every bit of it. The prayers of children are for snow, a rare and sought after treat here. Too soon it will be the end of this time and that unresolvable problem of endings and beginings will be in my heart again. As time goes by it does so more quickly making each tiny moment seem brilliant in it\’s smallish way. In the quiet season, going slow bundled up, may help the noticing of those little pieces of Winter.