*Yes, that’s a direct theft of the title of Gwyn Hyman Rubio’s wonderful novel. My apologies, but perhaps it will inspire you to read it, or re-read it.
Last week we had one of those Kentucky ice storms that creates an enchanted crystal wonderland without wreaking havoc on the roads or leaving thousands without power. By my estimate, the twigs and evergreen needles in my neighborhood were encased in a quarter-inch of ice, or perhaps a bit more. When I tried to walk the dog that morning, I discovered that every blade of grass had its own icy sheath. It was difficult to stay upright, especially with 70 pounds of dog muscle dragging me along.
It remained cold overnight, and the next morning was absolutely magical. The sun came out for the first time in days and we were reminded that the sky can be a shocking shade of blue. On our morning walk, the sun backlit the trees along the eastern edge of the road, creating thickets of Christmas trees laden with shimmering tinsel. I was awestruck. I had to shade my eyes from the sun as I lingered to take in the view. On our afternoon walk, the trees on the western edge of the road were backlit, and the scene was completely different but just as startlingly beautiful. I hated to return home.
The next morning it was gray again, and when we first headed out I thought it was raining. But I quickly realized that was just the ice inevitably melting from the trees as the temperature nudged above freezing.
I know my neighbors are eager for spring after an already long and unusually cold winter. But I love this season, and I want to pay homage to it before it grudgingly gives way to the warmth of spring. I’m happy that we had a substantial snowfall back in January that shrouded the lake, the hills, and the woods in a peaceful white blanket. The backdrop made the deer and their normally camouflaged activities more visible amid the stands of hardwoods. Neighbors enjoyed a rare opportunity to lace up the skates, demonstrating varying degrees of skill as they circled the frozen lake behind my house or raced to the dam and back.
Today, it's mud season. Two days of heavy rains have created new streams and ponds all around the neighborhood. The ground is so saturated it nearly swallows up my boots as I make my way across the sodden fields. This is the transition I dread, but I know it's part of the natural order.
I couldn’t live somewhere without four distinct seasons. I seek variety in everything I do. I like change. And when spring finally does arrive, I’ll be just as thrilled by the blooming redbuds and the warm breezes as I have been by the frozen ground and the chickadees at my feeder.