I’m laughing right now. Leave it to Gary to spread his column out – which makes me even more eager to read what he has to say. He has a great way with words, and I always love reading his work. However – if he can steal from us, I get to do the same to him. I swiped this photo off of his blog, (and am secretly wishing I could photograph this well!)
What I Like About Living in the North, Part III
Now what I like about living up North is the changing of the seasons. In fact, that’s what most northern Countryfolk would tell you. Right now, it’s hard at the tail end of long cold spell, it’s hard for me to conjure up any beautiful images of Winter, but I’ll try. There are even a few folks up here, like my dear friend Suzanne Snyder, who say that they prefer Winter over Summer! (We just smile and nod at her, and then roll our eyes when she isn’t looking.) What I love about Winter is blue snow. (No, not when you spill windshield wash on it.) It is when you have a sunny January day after a fresh snow and the snow is so dazzling that it hurts you eyes. The shaded side of a new snowdrift looks blue in comparison to the rest of the landscape sparkling like so many minuscule diamonds. I love a Winter’s sunset; the pale orange sun’s weak gleamings on the sides of our barn and corn-crib and on the bare tops of the poplars. And the Winter constellations! These past few months I would brave the sub zero temps and step out onto the front steps to see Orion, Pegasus, and Gemini. It was just last January that an hour past sundown I could see all the visible planets in one night; Venus, Mercury, and Mars in the West, rising Jupiter in the East, and in the cold clear morning, Saturn preceding the sunrise.
Tired of Winter? Then how about Autumn? From late August to November is my very favorite time of the year. My friend Chip Codella, a Renaissance Man if there ever was one, clued me in to a wonderful quote by Albert Camus: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” I love the harvest, the Harvest Moon, and the ripe smells of a year’s growth which has come to its own fulfillment. I also love the paler blue of the Autumn skies and the dark, scudding clouds of an Autumn cold front descending from the North to finally end the growing season on a chilly October evening. I end this post with what I consider the penultimate description of Autumn by Kenneth Grahame in “The Wind in the Willows”: “… the Mole turned his talk to the harvest that was being gathered in, the towering wagons and their straining teams, the growing ricks, and the large moon rising over bare acres dotted with sheaves. He talked of the reddening apples around, of the browning nuts, of jams and preserves and the distilling of cordials; till by easy stages such as these he reached midwinter, its hearty joys and its snug home life, and then he became simply lyrical.” More next time. — Gary