It has been a long winter in Canada. It has been face-hurting cold for several weeks now. And there is treacherous ice everywhere; on the driveway, the walkway, the sidewalks and the trails. Between the cold, the ice and the darkness, I have spent much more time inside than other winters. I have been missing my walks in the conservation area. I have been skipping my daily walks through town. I have been experiencing cabin fever. I want to be outside again. I want to play in my garden. I want to walk beside the river. I want to go bird-watching. I want to go south where you can step outside without a heavy coat, boots, a scarf and mitts. So, I have been focusing on the little pleasures that winter affords:
- I have become fascinated with winter light; the way it bounces off the icy snow as sparkles; the patterns it creates on the snow as the sun moves across the sky; and the halos it produces when it is cast from behind;
- I have enjoyed watching my snow laden yard fill with animal tracks; there are the tracks that join all of the trees in the back yard where the black squirrel has jumped through deep snow from one tree to the other; there are rabbit tracks, punctuated by brown, round droppings, following the perimeter of the house; and there are deep Deer tracks connecting the bushes and the cranberry tree in the front yard suggesting that the Deer have found it to be a tough winter too;
- Several times now, I have caught the sun rising in the east, bleeding light across the sky in tones of orange and pink. I have spent a few of these mornings charting the course of the sun with camera in hand; trying to capture the beauty as it unfolds; noticing how the light spreads from the sky to the crusty surface of the snow;
- I have begun using the fireplace in our home; burning manufactured logs while drinking mycoffee on weekend mornings. The soft crackling sounds and dancing yellow flames warm my heart; reminding me of good times spent around summer campfires beside large bodies of water; and
- I have seen favourite neigbhourhoods through a different lens when walking on cold dark nights. Instead of seeing the brick and stone that form the foundations of these buildings, my eyes have been drawn to the squares of warm light offering glimpses into the inner workings of each family home.
How do find the light in long dark winters??