“He saw no colour but those he knew, gold and white and blue and green, but they were fresh and poignant, as if he had at that moment first perceived them and made for them names new and wonderful. In winter here no heart could mourn for summer or for spring. … On the land of Lorien there was no stain.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien

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I recently placed myself in something like a writer’s Time-Out.

It was similar to the break my younger son is often required to take when his grumbling about the breakfast oatmeal reaches a critical stage. I simply told myself I must stay away from this blog until I had something better to contribute than complaints about the weather.

But then January turned into February, and though the weather has been, if anything, more disappointing than ever, I decided it was probably time to let my words out again.

We’ll see what happens.

*

My older son received snow shoes for Christmas. Though he has taken them out for a few test runs each time the snow has drifted into something resembling reasonable depth, for the most part, they have sat, ready and waiting, by the laundry-room door.

For a few weeks, those new snowshoes looked optimistic. Expectant. They perched neatly with their accompanying poles. Yesterday, I realized that they had fallen behind a pile of cardboard waiting to be recycled. Their metallic blue surface was dimmed by dust.

Whether or not you are the proud owner of new snowshoes, I do not think there is anything more miserable than sheets of rain and a high temperature of thirty-eight degrees.

*

This morning, the winter sun shone. Elsa and I walked the neighborhood sidewalks like puppies released from a kennel.

I noticed, as I walked, that the sky was a very pale, very delicate blue. It looked like porcelain. It looked as if a bowl of fine bone china had been turned upside-down over the treetops.

It was one of the loveliest skies I think I have ever seen. But it was also a thoroughly winter sky.

There are no skies like bone china in June.

 

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Maplehurst

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