Confessional

Why I’m not afraid of Winter … for once.

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The cold comes in slow:  white fog that slides over the mountains at night.  Hangs in wreaths around the peaks.  

Usually, I fear the winter.  I see it as a long night when my summer radiance sleeps, curled up like a crocus under snow.  

But this year…  This year I’m hopeful.  

*

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I often hear the phrase, “Oh, what a difference a year makes,” and for me, in this moment, that’s true.  Because I was in a very lonely place twelve months ago.  

But suddenly I find myself surrounded by a tribe of good people who I adore, and who might — just maybe — adore me, too. 

And so I look forward to long winter months around dining room tables, with wine and candlelight, good food and good cheer, conversations that wind like boxwood mazes … music … and laughter.  Oh, God, I look forward to laughter.

I say all this because, if you’re looking toward a winter that feels a bit more bleak, I want you to hear me tell you that the bleakness just can’t last.  

Not a chance, friend…

*

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Can I tell you something else??  I’ve been scrolling through my photos from last winter, and I’m noticing something surprising:

My winter photos are about ten times more beautiful than my summer shots.

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I find these lines in last year’s journal, scribbled during February’s cold:  

…And maybe that’s why I’ve found it easier, rather than harder, to learn photography in winter.  

Because when the whole world is stripped clean of color, the beauty spare and sometimes poverty-stricken … then, a single leaf, a lone limb thrust up to the sky, screams out like an exclamation point.

(Oh, Lord, electrify me).

And maybe this poverty of green is necessary to keep my eyes sharp — my soul hungry and desperate enough to get down on my knees for the crumbs.

I sit here at my little writing desk, the lamplight reflecting the words back to me like an echo, and I think:  yes.

Yes, that’s true.

It’s true for me, and it’s true for you, too.

*

So.  Whatever winter you’re expecting:  full and warm, or hungry and cold … 

Please know this:  we’re going to make some beauty in it, together.

We’ll take photographs.

We’ll share snatches of poetry.

We’ll paint…

And Spring — I promise — will be lush and green on the other side.

*

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Come with me??

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46 thoughts on “Why I’m not afraid of Winter … for once.

    • Thank you … I think that’s a perfect (and gorgeous) way of describing it. Funny how the lens sees what we feel sometimes.

      I’m keeping that beautiful little accolade in my back pocket for a rainy (or snowy) day.

      Thanks friend!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love my winter, it’s my favourite season. I’ve been severely disappointed the last few years-where I live in North-West England we have had barely any snow.
    I’ve told my wife if there is none this year we are moving up north to Scotland. The rugged Highlands, or maybe my favourite islands: Orkney. “Be my guest,” she says, ” send me a postcard.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa says:

    Thank you for helping me see the brightness in winter! I was dreading going out to work and planning my spare time huddled inside! I will now try to sometimes venture out with my camera 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this, it is so needed with a very cold morning settling in and the reality of winter ahead of us. If I think this is the time nature will take a rest, I feel better and to your point, find the light, laughter and love at the table. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated and I’m very happy to hear how you feel today in this moment and to leave the sad feelings you had 12 months ago behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, I’m glad that you’re winters have become more enjoyable. Having good friends makes most things better.

    I was interested in what you said about your winter photographs. I feel there are different kinds of beauty. The golden sand and azure sky of some beach in the South Seas is of course lovely to look at, but there’s also a kind of stark, haunted beauty that you can see in Icelandic tundra or deserted Scotland glens. I think the photographs of winter are often something like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lemme catch the next plane, Alfa Zulu.
    I’m glad you look forward to the next winter and that your life has… “turned around”
    B&W photographs? Sometimes they are better than colour. Not always. The reason I believe is that Black & White “strips” the subject. Eliminates all the nuances of colour, so then the eye can concentrate on the structure.
    ‘Reason why most portraits are better in B&W, they go to the essence of the person portrayed. And, shall I get “corny”? A glimpse of their soul?
    (Aw! Come on!)
    Joyeux hiver Ashley.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your words are *so* true … “Eliminates all the nuances of colour, so then the eye can concentrate on the structure.” *Exactly.*

      I’ve often said that I love {self} portraits in black and white because the musculature below the skin becomes so much more apparent … and, of course, the muscles are often where we physically express emotion, and sometimes pain.

      So, yes. A glimpse of the soul seems perfectly reasonable. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂
        Although the soul may be so elusive…
        Do silver photographs catch souls?
        Vampire supposedly cannot be seen on mirrors.
        And why the old custom of veiling mirrors in black after someone’s death?
        (Getting all halloween here. Must be the fever, haha!)
        Have a nice week Alfa Zulu.
        (Bravo Mike Oscar is grounded)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, I’m with you! I have also decided to embrace winter this year (normally I dread it) so let’s do that together. Love that nature is sleeping and I love the look of winter. I tend to forget its beauty, being so busy longing for spring. …and why do I always feel like crying when reading your posts??? ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hooklineandinkwell says:

    Your photography is stunning and I agree with your journal entry: stripping the elements of colour certainly brings out the beauty in the stark contrasts between light and dark features in our natural surroundings…beautiful work

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your photographs are amazing. Your prose is poetic and transfixes me. I used to write poetry when I was younger, but I stopped completely many years ago. I think, “Who am I to write poems?” Sometimes, I think, “Who am I to write at all?” I abandoned my studies of literature and language for that “useful” degree that my parents strongly encouraged me to obtain. What scares me? Failure. Being found out as a phony. A fraud. Perhaps, not just in writing, but in life as well. “Maybe one day,” I tell myself, “I will go back to school, and then I can try poetry again.” Reading your poetry, though, stirs something inside me. The world does seem simpler in winter. When I take to the bike path near my house, I can clearly see straight through what the leaves of trees obscured from my view all summer. As I spend more time inside, I find myself distracted less by what is on the outside, and that thing in my soul stirs again. If I do try my hand at drafting a poem, it will be in no small part because of what you share with the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, lady. I’m absolutely humbled by your words.

      I have to say: if the words are inside you, then just write. There’s no degree necessary to make great art, and in a lot of ways, the best artists are often better off without them.

      Most of all, though, I hope you’ll always write for *you,* without worrying too much about what others might think. A person doesn’t have to be a “professional” poet to do great good in putting pen to paper … Truly. ❤

      I'm lucky you're here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahhhh! Your photos and writing are so wonderful! While I detest winter (just too cold and long), I have to admit there is nothing more beautiful than a thick layer of sparkling, white snow blanketing everything. I’m with you on that one. xoxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

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