Shaking off Winter

Hebgen Lake, Western Yellowstone


Winter. A daunting word for a Californian girl who has never been below zero. Her skin is made of sunshine and warm wind, and her laughter dances in the Poppy fields splattered across the hills. Winter has always been a myth. It has entailed snow and mistletoe and warm socks, though her winter is forty degrees. The second clouds cover the sky, she crawls into her pajamas and starts a fire. Winter has been a type of weather rather than an entire season, and winter never lasts more than a day. Though, the past week she had spent sitting by a once frozen lake, she realized that spring in Montana is what she had always believed Winter to be.
Spring has been reaching down her strong, delicate fingers to crack open the ice that blanketed the lake. After the week of stretching and shrinking, the last bits of ice have been broken through and the lake has begun to thaw to her best shade of blue. If you ever have the chance to achieve two springs in one year I would recommend it. This transition time is rich with growth. Small sprouts shoot through impossibly cold earth at ground-breaking speed. And the earth seems to be laughing as the color tickles it’s surface. Gray. Brown. White. Blue. Now, Green scream across the landscape. The willows, tired from carrying the weight of snow, reach their burgundy arms to the sky. The sky tries on different jackets. One day snow, one day rain, one day…

Today the clouds broke away from the fog and the fog away from the sky and the blue pierces your heart in a way you haven’t felt since the first time you fell in love. The wonder and curiosity and excitement all wells up inside of you in a way that makes you want to cry and shout and burst out giggling all at the same time. Instead, you sit there with the world rushing past you in the bench seat of a pickup Chevy. The lake and the willows and the clouds all preparing themselves for their Spring splendor. And you thought your friends took a long time to get ready for the party… Nature takes her sweet time, arriving fashionably early or late exactly as she pleases, always ready to impress.

So we sit here, you and I, patiently waiting for the sun to shine enough and the rain to fall enough, and the wind to calm down enough for Spring. Being from California, I have never known how to wait for a season passing. I would love if you held my hand as we waited for the colors. If you have stories to share, or wisdom to impart, I welcome it all. It seems that seasons teach patience. It seems that seasons teach one to wait for things to come and how to let them go. It seems that seasons trigger some wonderful intuitive part of ourselves that need the cycles of opening and closing. If you want to join me for this change, you can find me by the river where the sheets of ice are being blown across the lake and colliding with each other. 

I’m falling in love with myself and parts that I have never known because only winter knows them. It is winter that coaxes the creativity from our wind-chilled bones. It is winter that reminds you that you are only human, and you are fragile and I am fragile, and we need each other. We need fire, in our homes and in our hearts to keep us warm and alive. It is the same fire in the sky that burns the fire in our hearts that burns spring through winter’s cloaks. So while Spring is coming, let’s run to the lake, run to the earth, run to the places that have been hidden to see what happens when they bloom. Because they are blooming like the song on the tip of your tongue that wants to be heard. I’ll sing with you if you’d like…


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