“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”
“It is the sun shining on the rain
and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Winter in the Pacific Northwest is a season to endure. Gray and overcast with plenty of rain, our sunrises happen under the clouds–for about a minute or two. Look quickly! That’s about the only time the sun appears. Talk about dreary.
The beautiful leaves of autumn are now ugly brown mush on the road. I find myself tramping along the sidewalk instead of striding. Head down, I’m focused only on reaching my destination, hoping I can make it before the dark clouds overhead unleash another downpour.
“When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.” ― Gustave Flaubert
Despite the rain, this winter has been mild. Several weeks ago I began hearing birds–in January? Incredible! And during Friday’s tramp, my downcast gaze found sprouts of green beside the sidewalk. Tips of daffodil leaves! And crocus! I’d forgotten they grew there. I hurried home and examined my front garden with new interest.
Why, signs of spring were all around–for those with eyes to see. The star magnolia has tiny buds. The grape hyacinths have put up fledgling tips, along with the iris and the Shasta daisies and the Columbines. Hope for spring!
Months of winter remain, but the year will turn–I can see it. The return of the sun will drive melancholy away. In the meantime, I will continue tramping from home to school and back again, but with a somewhat lighter heart.
Then again, winter is the season for books. How can I have forgotten something as important as that? Bring on the rain! For what better time is there to curl up a favorite read?
“Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.” ―Thomas de Quincey