A Heart for Winter

 The rain is raining all a round it rains on field tree, it rains on the umbrellas here and on the ships at sea. I was thinking of Robert Louis Stevenson's  verse this morning, listening to the hard rain on the roof and wishing it were snow. It's more than a little ironic that there is a record setting blizzard blowing across the Lower Forty-eight and we are in the middle of a serious thaw. There's no snow left  in my yard. Last night we walked to the sauna (from the house across the yard) in our bathrobes and Crocs on wet grass. I was envious when I heard on the radio this morning that the first flakes from the blizzard were whirling over Vermont. I miss the snow. What's the point of winter without it? Why stack the woodpile on the porch behind the windbreaks, why have all those skates and boots and ice grippers in the mud room? The 4 wheel drive car in the garage. The quilts on the beds, the snowshoes ready for a hike? I not only have a mind for winter, as another poet Wallace Stevens said, I have the gear for it. This morning I reflexively opened the draft on the woodstove and loaded it up, until I realized it was so warm in the living room I had to open a window. But it is not time to grieve for winter yet. It is only February 2.  I have seen snow on the ground on Mother's Day. I prefer to think of this break as the calm in the eye of a hurricane. It's an opportunity to pick up the yard a little,  wash the windows. Stand in the rain and plan a summer garden, or figure out how I'll re-do the fence on the chicken coop to make it more granddaughter friendly. I am hen-less at the moment and looking forward to raising a new flock with a child in mind. Rain is a good excuse to browse chicken books. I've pretty much decided on gentle, friendly and smart (for chickens anyway) little bantams with pretty feathers and child-sized eggs. Yesterday my daughter said she thought we should get another bunny too, to keep the chicks company. That's what rain in winter is best for, it gives a person a heart for spring. I'm keeping my boots in winter though, and my snowshoes near the door, because I know we have plenty of miles to go in the snow --and more than six weeks of winter still to come, no matter what a Pa. rodent says.


In real news, sort of, tomorrow night (Feb 3) at 7 is the annual Debate, Drama and Forensic Team's dessert auction and performance to raise money for their trip to the state championship. The kids are really talented, and who doesn't need a little chocolate in February? Coach Cohen has this content warning: "It will be a dangerous evening for anyone with a sweet tooth and sense of a humor."  It's in the high school open area. Also, you can meet the radio station manager Friday at 4 at KHNS, and the Metlakatla Miss Chiefs will be here this weekend for basketball games Friday and Saturday night at 6 & 7:30. 

It's raining on Pyramid Island, too.

Sauna in the rain.


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