Howling screeching winter winds

Good morning!

Yawn, stretch, hello computer, hello readers, hello wind…


Yes, indeed.  It’s howling and screaming outside the dark windows, careening between dark trees, scuttling sideways across newly formed ice a quarter-mile away on the Huron Bay.

Darn cold

Temperatures shiver around 4 degrees (-15 Celsius) and formidable Wind Chill warnings abound.  Translate that to mean frostbite if you linger too long outside admiring the -20 to -30 (-28 to -34 Celsius) wind chill factor.

Schools cancel in the Upper Peninsula, but not our local ones–yet.

It’s darn cold, readers.

You lay abed on these icy cold pre-dawn snoozes and hear the wind howl in freight-train lonely songs.  The Little House in the Woods shudders.  You snuggle deeper beneath the heavy covers and ponder the exact location of the flannel sheets.  Might be time to retrieve them now.

How different from the previous dark night when you awoke and paused by the front doorway and glimpsed the shadow of a deer grazing by the window.  Outside felt still, silent, surreal.  The deer sensed your presence, perhaps, and moved gracefully away through the night, a liquid shadow, a furry creature rooting beneath six inches of snow, a mysterious dream spirit.

At 5:30 a.m. this morning sounds percolate from the kitchen.  Hark, what is this?

Hang a quilt over your window on these cold winter nights...

Ahhh, it’s Barry, awake early, making coffee.  You hear footsteps down the circular stairway, the stir of ashes in the wood stove with the long metal poker, the clunk of logs.

He’s doing morning chores!

You snuggle deeper beneath the covers.

Five more minutes–ten more minutes–

Wind rattles against your window panes, morning alarm clock, wake up, wake up, it’s another winter morning in Lake Superior land, deep winter, your spirit burrowing deeper within itself, no wind chill deep inside.

When you're outside looking in

You never realize until much later–when spring begins its thaw–how deeply something within the human form moves to protect itself during deep winter.  You don’t sense, at the time, how you move inward, inward, protecting precious organs, consolidating in upon yourself, conserving energy.

When melt arrives you actually thaw as well, opening, moving, dripping, singing.

But for now–precious gifts await in this inward movement of winter.  Be still.  Feel them.  Feel what you can learn from ice, from howling wind, from snow.

When the energy moves inward, the ancient natives built powerful wigwam fires and whispered stories, sacred stories only shared in wintertime, only when the energy settled  far enough inward, only when the  listener was winter-ripe.

We’re ripe, dear reader.  Listen deeper to what your inner heart whispers.  Sometimes it’s speaking louder than the howling wind, sharing secrets your soul needs to learn before summer keels you outward into your expanding green harvest.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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52 Responses to Howling screeching winter winds

  1. lynnekovan says:

    Nothing better than snuggling down under the duvet when it’s raging outside. Well actually, what’s even better is the sound of a lovely man tinkering in the kitchen to the smells of coffee and toast……perfect!

    • Kathy says:

      I don’t know if I know what a “duvet” is, Lynne, but it sure sounds cozy. And, gosh, yes, having a man tinkering in the kitchen is heaven!

  2. Brenda Hardie says:

    Good Morning dear Kathy ♥ Gosh it’s a bitterly cold morning here and there! It’s 12 below here with a windchill of almost 20 below. School was not canceled. The wind is not howling as much as it was last night though so it’s good. Calmer.
    Yes…I agree…it is now time to sink deeper within, to quiet ourselves and listen. “Listen deeper to what your inner heart whispers.” Perfect Kathy ♥ I do think the ancient natives were onto something.
    Heavy blankets, flannel sheets, fuzzy slippers and a man making coffee and toast in the kitchen sounds like heaven this morning! ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Oh you have it cold in Minnesota, Brenda! It was a lovely morning here, even though cold. I ventured out to get a haircut and meet with a friend later in the day. Brrrr….you know how it is every time you get out of the car! Hope you are having a lovely day.

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        It was a bitterly cold day but the sun was shining brightly so that helped! And the wind wasn’t so bad and that helped too. We got to 3 today but it’s down to 2 below again. This evening I walked a couple blocks to my neighbor’s and we had our weekly prayer study. I bundled up good and it wasn’t bad until I walked home and then my face froze. Good thing it wasn’t too far! Sure made me thankful for having a warm house to come home to! My heart goes out to people who are homeless or who cannot afford heat 😦 Would love to open my door to them so they could be warm and fed and sheltered from the elements. Sweet dreams my dear friend of the northwoods ♥

  3. Oh I know this sacred story you tell this morning Kathy but I never tire of hearing it. We are -7 at 6:00 am. Though there is no wind this morning, scraps of snow are visible in the shadows of the big fir trees outside as I peer through the dark into the valley from the big window. I treasured my time with you as I sip my morning coffee and am thankful for warm shelter.

    • Kathy says:

      We are lucky indeed, Terrill, for our warm shelters. It is mostly in the wintertime that this thankfulness grows so strong. I feel sorry for the animals sometimes, wondering how they keep warm. You certainly had it cold, as well, this morning. Always your words make me smile.

  4. Beautiful quilt.
    Brilliant idea hanging it over the window.
    Phenomenal husband making coffee!

  5. Such a beautiful account. Makes one want to move to a Little House in the Woods rather than living in a suburban rancher in the city.

  6. Jeffstroud says:


    Not only has the wind brought freezing cold weather and a time for introspection it has brought me here. HA,ha, I have not read or responded to your blog in some time…

    Beautifully written and thoughtful as usual. I am glad I got blown in your direction today!

    It was 12 degree’s this morning, no wind. that was yesterday!

    • Kathy says:

      My goodness, look what the cold wind blew in! Hi, Jeff. It’s always lovely to see you pause at this hearth for a few minutes and share your thoughts and spirit. Sounds like you’ve had your share of cold already. Stay warm!

  7. Carol says:

    We have the winds, but ours are moaning more than howling. Yesterday the winds howled and blew in snow, which turned to rain late in the day. Still good weather for snuggling under the blankets, although I’ve traded in the flannel for micro-fleece – pure heaven!

    • Kathy says:

      You really made me think, Carol. Were our winds perhaps moaning and not howling? But, no, they were howling. Enjoy your micro-fleece-heaven snuggling! It is a good day for that in many places, it seems.

  8. suzen says:

    Hi Kathy,
    I’m in hibernation mode – not a fan of winter – but keep the kettle on all day for tea, have two cooking days a week where I make huge pots of stuff (chili, stew, soups etc) so I can freeze a bunch and not have to cook everyday. The whistling wind drives my dogs nuts so we find a room to avoid it, if possible, and play soft music.

    Gorgeous quilt!

    • Kathy says:

      Those huge pots of food sound delicious. (All foods sound delicious to me these past few days.) Playing soft music sounds soothing. Perhaps I should put some on. Thaks for the suggestion, SuZen.

  9. I love your description of winter snuggling and hibernating – it is a blessing to move our lives in harmony with the seasons. Winter has its grace… The wind was howling here, too, the other night and I got up early the next morning, prepared food and started two slow cookers, and then climbed back into bed with a good book, enjoying the smell of meals simmering away…

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, I could smell the food in your slow cookers through the computer and now I’m so hungry I would like to share a bowl with you. (Although I suppose it’s all gone or in the freezer by now.) Your writing is very evocative and smells good, too!

  10. It is cool and snowy here but not bad! Yesterday out in Western Canada it got down to -50 degrees. Yep. Below -40 the F and C scales cross so it translates to really really darn cold. Glad I live in Southern Ontario where winter is barely beginning!

    • Kathy says:

      Winter is barely beginning? By gosh, Nicole, you lucky duck! Winter is deepening so much here. I am attempting to surrender fully to the cold weather, allowing it to exist. Not always an easy task, is it?

  11. Heather says:

    I skipped right past flannel sheets and settled on a heated blanket. Now that I have it, I’m not sure why it took me so long to get it! Sounds like a coffee and soup kind of day. I’m waiting for my sleepiness to burn off entirely before I can become introspective. Or maybe I just need soup and coffee 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Heather, guess what I had this morning for breakfast? Soup and coffee! (You are a mind reader.) This is the second day in a row I’ve eaten soup for breakfast…that hardly ever happens. Did you wake up? Did you introspect? Are you sitting around a campfire telling stories? (Oh, that’s what we modern-day folks call: blogging.)

      • Heather says:

        I finally came around after an afternoon cat nap! But then I was inundated in work, and I think I only introspected (that’s a verb, right?) while I baked and perhaps a bit as I read. I need to work more on that!

  12. John says:

    What wonderful pictures you painted with your words. (but darned if I don’t want to snuggle back into bed after reading)

  13. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I love your description of moving inward, of our winter selves. This has always felt true for me. It’s interesting how now, living in a warm (relatively speaking) and snow-free winter climate I still feel the same pull, even when there are flowers blooming and the days are warm. Wonder how (or if) people in Australia or more tropical climates experience this?

    • Kathy says:

      I am fascinated by your observation, Colleen. Maybe everyone who is sensitive feels this inside their bodies. What an interesting thought! Would love to really know if many others in tropical places feel this, too.

  14. Gerry says:

    There’s a wonderful section in a flawed book, Charles Frazier’s Thirteen Moons, where Cooper and Bear hunker down in a winter den and tell stories. It made a tremendous impression on me, because it seemed so much the right thing to do in the deepest dark and cold of the year.

    Ah well. If memory serves, they did not keep spaniels.

    • Kathy says:

      There is a part of me that would love to be hunkered down in a den, telling stories. The other part imagines how cold it probably still is in that den. I think I’ll choose the house and wood stove. Gerry, did you notice it’s staying light later in the evening? I noticed for the first time tonight.

  15. What a gorgeous post, Kathy! I love the image of dear as liquid shadow, and your description of our turning inward to protect ourselves from the cold is stunning. Great writing, my friend.

    Getting excited about your trip?


    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, dear Kathy. I tried to write this with lots of word picture-paintings this morning.

      Excited about my trip, you ask? Let me count the ways–and days!

  16. Sybil says:

    I am happy to present myself as a translator, to help you with comments left by Lynne (Five Good Things). 😉

    A duvet, pronounced “due-vay” (“down” in old French) is the same thing as a down comforter; in it’s simplest form, a cloth bag filled with down and feathers. A duvet cover is the protective, decorative cover that slips over the down comforter (or duvet), much like a pillow case on a pillow.

    My inner voice is whispering, “stay in bed till spring”, Kathy. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Ms. Sybil, you are a wonderful translator! Thank you for your description of a duvet. I now want one. It would be lovely to slip beneath one right now, even though it’s only 7:05 p.m. As for staying in bed til spring–Sybil!–the Winter Gods are frowning at you. No, they’re frowning at me for actually pondering it. 🙂

  17. Dawn says:

    Winter is hitting here too, for the first time so far this season. Windy, cold, but not as cold as you, a little bit of snow, more snow to come tomorrow. I would love to snooze till spring!

    • Kathy says:

      Snoozing is good. Be careful driving to work! (Well, fortunately, you won’t be driving to work this weekend–at least I hope you won’t.) I know Katie will be lovin’ it.

  18. Dana says:

    Winter is, indeed, a time for turning inward. I hadn’t thought about introspection in terms of sheltering ourselves from the cold and harsh winds, though– what a striking image! Hope that it’s warming up a little in Michigan now. (If not, at least there’s the destination wedding to look forward to!)

  19. Val says:

    The last few nights I’ve gone to bed with two pairs of socks on my feet. Once my feet have got warm, I’ve taken off the socks and put my hands into them. 🙂 We find ways to comfort ourselves in these dark cold times in winter. Hugs to you Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s always cold when we have to wear socks to bed! But I have never ever thought of putting them on the hands afterwards. That is a good idea, Val! Hugs to you back.

  20. bearyweather says:

    Winter is definitely the best time for things inside … and inside us. Things slow down and allow us to stay inside. I loved my two hour late start last week (because of the cold). There is nothing better then the warmth of home on these cold winter days.

    • Kathy says:

      Isn’t it wonderful to have a late start when it’s so cold and/or snowy outside? I’ll bet you enjoy those lovely mornings, more time to stretch, relax, get ready for your teaching day.

  21. Robin says:

    Good morning, Kathy. I know I’m a few days behind, weatherwise and blogwise. I’m glad I didn’t miss this:

    “You don’t sense, at the time, how you move inward, inward, protecting precious organs, consolidating in upon yourself, conserving energy.

    When melt arrives you actually thaw as well, opening, moving, dripping, singing.”

    Glad I didn’t miss any of this post, but those words stood out for me.

    The wind will be howling here today, or so they predict with wind advisories in effect. It’s raining and warm (50s) this time, unlike last week’s snow and blow. It has been a confusing winter, withdrawing with the cold and suddenly feel like it’s time to open up and spring clean with the warm-ups. I’m rather enjoying the contrariness of the weather as it has become like a dance, swaying back and forth between winter and spring in January.

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Robin. I am glad you enjoyed this blog and that some of the words zinged for you. I don’t know if you’ve read my blog from today, but the weather has made me a scaredy-cat. Have to fly south today and it’s snowing sideways. Hoping that the radar loop holds a miracle of clearing later on, please, dear Universe, please. (I am always glad to see you, late or otherwise. As we’ve been taught, really time only ever occurs in the Now.)

      • Robin says:

        Oh gosh. I’d be a scaredy-cat too. I will talk to the Universe too. Maybe with enough of us asking nicely, you will get that miracle of clearing later on.

        • Kathy says:

          Thank you, Robin. I really feel the gift of all these positive thoughts and energies this morning. Hopeful! Love to you. I’ll wave when we fly over your house.

  22. Dinah dancing deer says:

    I sit in front of my computer and all I can hear is that chilling wind howling past the trailer. Yikes, gosh, I clutch my blanket around me and wrap it even tighter…, Mmm so cozy-I am so thankful for this roof over my head. I push the curtain aside to see what is happening outside….? …, What?
    soft flowing liquid
    clear and crisp living water
    running through the Earth…,
    Well, it’s actually 3 above, BUT MINUS 1 W/ THE WINDSHIELD FACTOR!
    Shees, me not a wimp, lol. Keep warm all 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Dinah, it sounds like you’re a writer. And sometimes it’s OK to cuddle beneath our blankets when it’s that darn cold outside! You stay warm, Dancing Deer. Wondering where you are that it’s so cold?

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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