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.
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?
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.
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.