Tuesday, January 28

Winter’s Wakefulness

by Richard S. Kordesh 

Fresh snow covering the ground and fluttering in the air casts a dream-like haze over our garden on this late January afternoon. 

I can barely discern the outlines of raised beds that--only four months ago--teemed with red onions and surged with slender, green beans.   

Terra cotta pots, then brimming with red and yellow peppers, are barely distinguishable under the round, white cloaks that settled over them through the morning.

On the deck, the zipped umbrella base rests under a dense blanket of cold powder. On this frosty day, the umbrella appears more as a gray sail leaning into a frigid, lake wind than a festive, apple-green shelter built to deflect the searing heat from a summer sun.

On the surface, the peaceful, subdued colors and muted shapes that emerged after the storm speak of rest, even slumber.  Yet, the apparent inertia evokes its own tastes, sounds, and feelings.

In the garden after a new-fallen snow, sensations unique to this raw season come alive. 

There is the crunching echo from my boots breaking a fresh trail alongside empty berry bushes. There is the raw freshness in the icy air that chafes my skin and squeezes water from my eyes.  

In this leafless time of year, the chirping of birds and the whistling of wind carry to my ears unimpeded.

Winter’s unique wakefulness heightens my awareness of the garden as it is now.  

It makes me feel alive differently, even as it extends for a time my dreams of summer.

Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years. Visit Richard's website for more

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