Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I try not to get sick of winter until April, or at least March at the earliest.

But this year, it's hard to hold my weariness at bay.

Maybe it's the weather––weeks of zero degrees punctuated by fifty-degree previews of mud season.

Maybe it's the muddy patches of melted snow, which make cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing redundant. 

Maybe it's the body aches from too much time spent indoors, sitting.

Whatever it is, my world is blanketed by a monochromatic quilt of monotony.

Same old kids bouncing off the same old walls.

Same old trail through the same old snow to the same old river.

Same old coyote tracks, melted into weird fingers.

Same old drive in the same cold car to the same old job.

Same old stories that don't show any inclination to write themselves.

I feel like every blog post I can make for the next three months, possibly the rest of my life, will read, "It was cold. We walked to the river. Then I spent the rest of the weekend wrangling recalcitrant words into imperfect sentences."

Which is pretty much how this weekend went. Saturday, we walked down to the river. The boys played hockey. I minced along on the ice, no longer afraid of falling through––last weekend's Arctic air ensured a solid footing, although there were still a few spots of open water and/or rotten ice––but instead falling and breaking my head (or, worse, my camera) on the ice laid bare by a week of wind. 

I tried writing in my nature journal, but my hand (and my butt––I was sitting in the snow) got too cold. Z built "Indian huts" in the tall grasses along the meander part of the river and he and I poked around in some dense firs where snowshoe hares must den, judging by the tracks and "rabbit drips." We looked down into water percolating beneath black frozen ripples flowing over a beaver dam.

Sunday, I threw the boys out but spent the day indoors myself, reading and writing and trying to make sense of a pile of critiques, all the while thinking I should get out, but not feeling really motivated to take on the cold and wind.

 For the next few weeks, or months, I expect more of the same.

How about you? How do you keep the winter blues at bay?


  1. Not very well and my winter is probably your summer.

    Rabbit drips? My rabbit produces hard little cocoa puff type turds -your wild ones drip?

  2. This post is not the same. This post is strong, filled with strong writing for strong feelings. I can see the product of months of work beginning to emerge.

  3. I hear you. January is always such a long month by the end of it. I told Sweet Husband just the other day, "Doesn't it feel like it's been January for a long time?" He, wisely refrained from pointing out the obvious--30 days just like any other month.

  4. Ah yes, Andrea. I'm feeling so much the same way, but all I've got are dirty icy city streets around me. It will be spring, eventually. Can you escape to a cozy cafe and write with a glass of wine in your hand? I'd love to join you!

  5. maybe start some paperwhites indoors? i started using a sun lamp. i love that zebra-looking photo of the snow.

  6. LSM--It's an old family joke. When I was very small, I went on a nature walk and misheard/misrepeated the ranger's "rabbit droppings" as "rabbit drips." It's stuck ever since.

    Rachel--Thanks! I hope it's true.

    Meryl--And I don't even want to think about how long February is going to be.

    Kate--Thank you for the reminder to be grateful for my walk and my river. And yes, a glass of wine in a cafe sounds divine. Let's do it!

    Kendra--Oh, yes! Good idea. I'm going to search for bulbs this week. Thanks...snow and ice can be amazingly beautiful.

  7. i had the winter sads until we got a dog a few years ago. somehow walking two or three times a day year-round regardless of weather changed things up. i don't know if it's the extra vitamin D or fresh air or exercise or what, but i really enjoy winter now. in fact, i just told my son that i used to really dislike the monotone days of jan/feb. somehow i feel differently now. dog magic? ;o)

  8. I love this. It's so reflective of winter in general. We have more mud season than sub-zero season here, but the gray skies and deep fog get so old. Thank goodness for ski season, which is what gets us outside and active and happy.


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