In Winter

I enjoy winter when it arrives at the homestead. Though the gardens are long since dormant there is still plenty to do.The rabbits and the chickens need constant care. A couple of times a day I have to break ice from the animals water and make sure they have enough warm bedding.

I don't mind though. No matter how cold it gets. There is poetry in the garden during summer. Birds sing with triumphant melody. Soft summer rains baptize new growth. But the winter features a more solitary form of art. For the most part there is a resonating silence that is a canvas for the occasional temperamental gust of wind and snow. These same squalls force the breathe from my lungs and scatter the frozen mist before my eyes. Then, once again, there is silence. As any good steward I try not to disturb this peace. If anything, I try to move unnoticed among it.

When it is cold enough the trees will produce an individual moan as they threaten to splinter in the darkness of the woods. They all have their own voice for those willing to listen. Some call low and bored while others seem to shriek with the inexperience of too few winters.

When the stars appear owls call in night as the light feet of fox and feral cat leave soft footprints in the snow as their only evidence of passing.

This is also the time of year when daydreams flourish and ideas take root in the thirsty desire that is the mind. Seed catalogs become dogeared while Jack Frost sculpts masterpieces upon my window panes. The warm glow of the computer lights up my face as I search for new and inventive ways to grow and produce my own food. A notebook with scribbles and proposals, a hot cup of coffee and the flicker of the fire light frame the early darkness as I sit at the large wooden dining room table my uncle gave me while waiting for the first light of the new dawn to appear.

There is much to do as the snow gently falls. Many dreams yet to be born and chores patiently waiting in the cold morning.    

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