it's been a traditional January
which is to say that everyone is moaning
about the cold, snow and more snow.
They have forgotten.
It really was much more wintery around here in years past.
We've only had 2 weeks so far
of temps hovering below zero and never getting above freezing.
To all of you ready for summer
i apologize for loving the winter like i do
there are those i meet in shops or the library
who seem to believe that my affection for the season
somehow prolongs it.
My inability to stop smiling amidst the swarm of flakes
to scowl and curse the ice
to cry out for hot sunshine
befuddles and bewilders them
they seem insulted that i do not join the mournful choir.
They do not say it, but the question vibrates in the air between us:
"what is wrong with you?"
i suppose it would be less confusing to them
if i strapped skis to the roof of my car
i have skis
but that is not why i love winter.
As i type
i'm watching titmice and chickadees drink and bathe
in the heated birdbath.
A couple of hours ago
a mob of robins flew in to take their turns at the water.
It did not occur to me to run for the camera.
But i did go out the other day
when the sun made an appearance
and the red stems on the willow
lit up against the afternoon shadows.
willow stems, remnants of last year's oregano and sun on snow: