|Sheaths of ice.|
And so it is with everything: The thick coat of white from the snow, which is continually renewed. The children play games and build forts and ice skate on the frozen pond. Layer upon layer of ice coats the fields and hills and mountains, and it will continue to grow and build all winter long. Then when springtime comes, it will all melt and flow downward toward the sea, washing the land as it goes and preparing it for spring planting.
There is the intense green of the pines against the bright blue of the sky, colors we often forget about or take for granted in our search for hothouse flowers. But how lucky we are to have them! And there are the bright red feathers of the cardinals as they jump from tree to tree in search of seeds and old berries. They contrast brilliantly against the blue feathers of the blue jays and the white feathers of the old snowy owls.
There are warm homes with smoke curling out of the chimneys and brightly lit fires in the woodstoves and fireplaces, of which we have an abundance here in Maine. There is the old pot on the woodstove simmering away with beans or broth, perfuming the air with a good meal yet to come. There is bread cooling on the counter in the kitchen and clean wet clothes drying on racks and makeshift clotheslines in the far rooms. There are oil lamps clean and shiny and ready to be lit when the sun goes down.
There are hot cookies and hot cocoa and friends stopping by with holiday goodies. There is a snowman melting in the yard, but that is okay because he will be back soon. Perhaps he is the ultimate perennial winter flower. There is the half-finished scarf lying on the side table, waiting to be picked up and worked on again when the mood (or need) strikes. There are happy pets and chickens still laying an egg here and there, even in the cold winter.
There is so much abundance, so much goodness. There is so much winter.