Wednesday, January 5, 2011
In Celebration of Winter Life
I'm not sure when I made peace with winter. Rather than a singular moment noted on a calendar, it is more likely it was a slow evolution when my complaining, lamenting, whining and self-absorbed hissy snits at the seemingly endless months of cold, dark, freezing cold was replaced with acceptance.
It could have been when I strapped on my first pair of snow shoes and ventured out beyond the plowed and shoveled walkways and into the quiet winter landscape. Deer, porcupine, mice, weasel and fisher leave trails across the winter landscape. Chickadees and nuthatches call out from the leafless branches, Blue Jays sound the alarm joined in by Red Squirrels.
Cold, colorless and devoid of life? Hardly.
I'm not surprised that we pay more attention to nature when it is ablaze with color. During the spring and autumn we look to the sky to watch the flocks of geese and cranes as they make their annual migration, marking the change in the seasons. But in the quiet of winter we become the final destination of many migrating birds: Trumpeter Swans find their way to this section of the Wisconsin River either on a stop-0ver or to spend the winter months.
Northern Hawk Owls and Snowy Owls, a bird that breeds and nests in the Arctic also migrate south. Finding a Snowy Owl perched on a fencepost or the small Northern Hawk Owl in the top of a balsam is a breathtaking moment.
The lesson I take back home is that too many times we fail to see the beauty of life even when it is right in front of us. In fact, how much of life's beauty do we miss because we are busy having our own hissy snit fits?
I wonder ... what would happen if I spread out my research brick walls and looked at them with a new attitude? If I put aside what I think I know about my ancestor and see what happens?