Observation on a Snowy Day

*I fear it is time to trade the stunningly beautiful Wisconsin winter we’ve had so far for the below-freezing temperatures, biting winds, and slushy ground that we know all too well. I wanted to share some reflections from a gorgeous day in December in case any of you are feeling as nostalgic as I am…

From December 22, 2012

“It’s a beautiful day to write. Outside the day-old blanket of snow sparkles like it has been dusted with crushed diamonds. The sun reflects off the white and draws out the colors of the sky with a vividness and purity I have never noticed before.

Lush ripples of deep rosy pink tumble through the clouds onto the snow and into my bedroom window in the early morning, and I feel them when I slip briefly into consciousness between dreams. The window is perfectly positioned to scoop up the most brilliant strands of sunrise and remind me the day will be beautiful.

A vibrant, creamy blue lights up the quiet afternoon hours. The sunshine and mild weather make it hard to believe that yesterday was the shortest day of the year. This is one of the rare gorgeous days that is so pristine and enchanting it makes us appreciate Wisconsin winter in spite of the impenetrable gray and piercing winds yet to come.

The powdery poplar tree is full of fat and happy mourning doves who frequent the feeders below. My parents have always loved mourning doves and I think it must be a good omen to have a whole peaceful flock of them roosting in our yard.

I am in awe of the abundance of wildlife present at a time when it seems like hibernating would be a more comfortable option for any living creature. My younger sister has in fact already begun her hibernation on the well-worn couch in our basement, where she will remain cocooned in old quilts until spring, emerging with the glow of a nice long nap and a new life plan.

But every day I see deer in the small patch of woods where our horses used to graze, and beautiful native birds I’ve seen in books and painted on Christmas cards but never had the opportunity to study in real life gather right outside our windows. Striking scarlet red male cardinals bring an exquisite burst of color to the white landscape, balanced by the soft brown of their female counterparts. Woodpeckers, blue jays, and crows each take turns at the carefully-stocked feeders, and occasionally a hawk or even a bald eagle will circle above. Today I sat outside with them and listened to their chirps and whistles and flutters cut through the gentle silence to dance in my eardrums, every sound and motion amplified by the perfect stillness of this snowy day.”Image