As we are beset with yet another choking promise of more snow I feel the short days press in on me & stretch out into forever, both, at the same time. Winter is a depressing time to live the life of a wannabe farmer. There are no fresh veggies, the ground is frozen solid and buried under frost & snow, the bees are clustered up and unwilling to be seen, the chickens are pitiful mangy looking shivering foragers, the family has taken on a pasty greenish waxy tinge. Everyone is uncomfortable.
The electric bills are staggering even though we keep the heat turned low and the fireplace stoked. It is winter. We are supposed to be cold. I understand that, but the older I get the more difficult and endless each winter seems.
Trapped for the majority of the days indoors I find myself heaving from one room to the next like a pinball kept forever in flight with the thwack of what I should be doing. My motivation comes almost to a standstill like the sap in the pine outside. I feel all my energy drain downwards out of my feet and into the ground leaving me tired and lethargic, pensive and grumpy.
I know logically there are many inside things that need finished. There is sewing to be completed, there are soaps & cosmetics to be made, there is pickled corn to be canned (I hope), there are things to be cleaned and chores to be completed but instead I spend countless hours wasting time on the internet or day dreaming about spring.
I like winter, I like one good snow at Christmas, but then I want it to go away. I like to visit it on my terms. I enjoy skiing at Snowshoe or Canaan, spending lazy evenings at the Purple Fiddle or Hellbenders with friends over good food, our faces all flushed from a day on the slope. I love hiking past the “Do Not Enter” signs at Blackwater, rebelliously sliding down the treacherous icy steps. But when the weekend is over I want to leave winter in that icy playground and come home to more mild temperatures.
I miss being able to walk or ride my bicycle everywhere. I hate throwing money into the gas tank of the truck. I want to be able to walk to mom & dad’s or gran’s. I want to stand outside and gossip with the neighbors at the mail box, instead of rushing out bundled to my eyes, giving a polite nod and rushing back in to the house. I want to sit in the yard with my chickens. I want to plant the spring garden. I want to open the hives and check on my bees. Mostly, I just want to be warm again.
Do not misunderstand, I am not longing for the brutal breath taking heat of this past summer. I am only longing for eternal springtime. I think I would like to go live in the hothouse at the Huntington Museum. Yes, I will be there sleeping on the bench by the coy pond, under the orchids. Someone come and wake me when spring is here.