Another storm lashes at the windows, the cat stirs in his sleep, restless dreams, quiet fur.
Feathers fly, snow falls, hail come from the sky, thunder roars, lightening flashes, and we are powerless.
Birds flock to the feeders, suet, and seed poured, and placed with fear it’s not enough to last the night..
Mornings awaken to coffee, and a fresh coating of white, shadows of small tracks, deer, pheasants, quail quilt the batting left behind.
Eagles in the trees always watching, keening. Observant, at all times hungry and opportunistic, watch your back.
Winter is hard.
So why should we be thankful for it?
If all we encountered was good weather, would we learn to appreciate endless sun, perfect days of glowing light.
We need winter to act as a contrast to the warm spring days, sun reflected in a pearled glow from inside a soft petal, the buzz of a bee the song it sings of spring.
Winter is there to keep us in check, to give us a moment to think, to reflect. To wear heavy clothes, while trying to keep warm, remembering what sun feels like on bare skin, instead of wool scratching, and chaffing.
Snow is needed for the fields, desperate moisture to start the summer cycle of growth, to harvest. To feed streams, to soothe fish, to replenish the rivers.
To continue the circle of birth, and death in nature, and man.
Without winter how would we learn to appreciate the taste of a red, sun ripened, home grown strawberry instead of a refrigerated, trucked in winter replacement? How would children know the sublime texture of a just picked grown from seed tomato, compared to the greenhouse plastic moulded conveyer belt driven pale replicas we are given during the cold.
Would fresh berries dusky with bloom, gently slipped from the prickly branch of the vine taste as good, if we were not forced to eat winter spray painted pieces of shredded paper that passed for fruit?
I don’t think so.
So blow wind, and fly snow, winter may be long, it may be harsh.
During this time of year we may struggle to find something beautiful to say about you, but winter you have your place.
Your time is soon to end, and for that we will be thankful.
But we also understand what your role in the circular seasons is, and how grateful we should be that you are here to help us enjoy the other times of softness, warmth, and growth.
The harder you blow, the more snow you drop on us, the colder it gets, the more beautiful the first spring stirrings are.
And for that, we thank you.