Friday, February 14, 2014

~A Floridian's Ode to Winter~

Spending the majority of my life in South Florida, I didn't grow up with "winter." There were very few, if any, days with freezing temperatures (though I thought so then), no "snow days" in school, and I don't think I saw any snow at all until around age 7 (and that was in Alabama!) Blinding sunshine and humidity were in abundance, and I lived a ten minutes' drive from the beach. As any Floridian will tell you, we experience maybe two seasons... HOT and HOTTER! This is my fifth February living in Brooklyn, and I have come to realize that maybe (just maybe) winter has its place among the beautiful things that G-d has created. Today I composed my ode to winter, and it will probably be the only one I will ever write...

"I Never"

They say snow falling is silent.
But it's not just any silence
(yes, I really wrote this in pen. at 6am.)
it's a beautiful kind of silence,
like being in the bedroom where your children are sleeping,
like the sound of this pen gliding over the paper at 6am,
where there's always the chance you'll hear something,
a small sigh, a faint breath, a sign of life,
That's what snow falling sounds like,
like G-d is whispering.

I never truly appreciated the color of things,
buildings, landscapes, trees...
until I saw them whited out with snow.

Yes, the days are shorter but the nights are brighter...
It's as if the sun never fully goes down.
The immense whiteness overcomes the darkness,
reflecting every ounce of moonlight, starlight, any light,
giving the night a perpetual glow until dawn.

To see a tree's leaves transform from green into colors 
(leaf we saved from the Fall)
I never knew a leaf could possess,
reds, yellows, golds...
Palm trees always wear the same outfits.
I never appreciated a tree's clothing
until I saw one naked,
swaying in the howling wind like a skeleton,
emaciated yet alive,
bare but hopeful.

Perhaps, like me, anxious for Spring.

The city in winter is clad in the dullest browns and grays available,
even the evergreen ceases to be green 
when the sun ceases to shine.
The sky seems to wear gray like an old,
comfortable coat that it doesn't like to take off.

(taken by lyndsi v.)

The people wear black.
Perhaps to provide the greatest contrast with the great White,
perhaps to add to the solemnity of winter
as black does for a funeral procession.

I too wear black.

(taken by lyndsi v.)
I've never walked through something so strange...
like thick, wet sand, 
only thicker
and more wet.
The snow crunches and slushes under your feet,
tickling your ears as it freezes them.

I never experienced such wind power,
except what the Atlantic whipped up onto the beach,
or in the Eye of a hurricane...
I'm grateful for this wind,
like a giant street sweeper,
making the cold unbearable while cleansing the air.

I've never experienced all four seasons
until now.
that each one has a look, a feel, a smell, a sound...
even a taste.
They come and go like the tide,
short, temporary, but life changing.

Spring sings.
Summer sighs.
Fall howls.
Winter whispers.

They are, indeed, life,
and how G-d chooses to speak,
so I suppose I can endure winter
for a few more weeks...

(reminds me of Florida...kind of.)

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