January 6, 2012

January Thaw

The snow is melting in this early January thaw. Truth is, the ground hasn’t even frozen yet! After a ridiculous amount of snow last winter that reminded me of the winters of my childhood, many predicted another severe winter this year.

Today may be close to the 50 degree mark. And I am not complaining!

I took a very long hike yesterday, enjoying mild temperatures and sunshine and the companionship of a sweet, young friend who is visiting for a few days. Today’s warm weather promises that we will be out and about again, enjoying the warmth of this early January day.

The way I figure it, even if we get dumped on with snow and temperatures plummet for the rest of the season, we are already way ahead of the game.
The blizzard of '11
Where's my picnic table?

I don’t mind winter. I actually like the cold air. When we received a little dusting of snow recently, the air smelled fresh and invigorating. I even enjoy when the temps are low, in the teens or single digits, if there is no wind. The cold air slapping me in the face makes me feel alive!

The real problem with winter is its longevity. Long after the dreams of a white Christmas have faded, and the long, dark months of January and February drag on, winter lingers into what should be springtime months, with cold winds and chill and the ever-present possibility of a late spring snowstorm. This has been known to occur in early May in Wisconsin. In 1990 a spring snowstorm wreaked devastation to trees already leafing out for the year. Many trees split right down the middle with the added weight of snow on the branches full of leaves that were laden with the heavy, wet snow that fell.

So I will pause today to enjoy the warmth, knowing it won’t last. And I will be thankful for the blessing of sunshine to aid in preventing seasonal affective disorder. We won’t be able to see animal tracks in the snow today, but there may be some fresh ones in the mud along the trails.

For those of you who love the snow, be patient. I'm certain we won't get missed by every storm this season. Besides, I bought new snow shoes last year and I am a little anxious to use them again.

Wherever you are, I hope you can take time to just breathe today, and find reasons to be thankful. Be present in this day. Each one is a gift to be carefully opened and treasured, and enjoyed. 

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