Winter is here. There’s a kind of hush in the air. The crisp cold morning air is scented with woodsmoke. The fragrance of the pines is intoxicating. These are the lazy days of the year. The joggers and cyclists and walkers are fewer. The melodic birds have flown to other regions for the season. Children aren’t playing outside.
It’s the quiet time of year. It’s not tornado season, or drought, or flood or hurricane. The hectic days of holiday gatherings have passed. It’s a time of reflection on the year that has just ended and hope this year will be filled with more kindness, more good news than bad, fewer tears. We’re busy with end of the year cleaning out, organizing, planning our projects for the current year. Curbsides are lined with discarded Christmas trees. Long gone are the days using them for community bonfires on the beach. Some towns are using them to rebuild dunes, most will be mulched.
It’s the time of hibernating by a fireplace drinking hot mocha cocoa, catching up on our booklists, the Sunday crosswords. Wool sweaters. Afghans. Thick gloves and socks. Burning scented candles for warm ambiance. We wait and hope for the January thaw to walk the beach and the boards (though we need to travel some to find any intact) reminding ourselves that the days keep getting longer. Spring will come. Summer will again too.
Meanwhile, there’s a kind of hush on gray days as we sniff the air for the scent of snow, anticipating the world dressed in white softness, but hopefully no nor’easters. Snow muffles the noise of the world as it falls silently, magically transforming the world into a white landscape that is fresh and new and innocent – if only for a day.