Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Winterland of Wonder

In Missouri, it has been warm. Too warm for January. And we all knew it wouldn't, couldn't last very long. It was hard to imagine that it was really winter anywhere in the world, but Grant, our Minnesota correspondent, assures us that it is. He writes:

I have been enjoying the winter beauty. Yesterday morning it was 22 below zero, and in sheer wonder I threw a jacket, boots, and gloves on and ran to the other house. The distance is probably only a quarter of a mile one way, but the beautiful morning as transfixing. Snow, stillness, cold. Wonder. The cold doesn't bother much at first. Then you feel it in your nostrils, faintly they feel like they might be closing up. Then your cheeks notice the chill, followed by your ears. Fingers are next, but only if your gloves allow encroachment. If you're silly enough to take off your gloves, your fingers have about two minutes before they become uselessly stiff. Return them to their dens.

Can you not feel the cold, if not after reading the above, than from these pictures of Minnesota snow! I shiver just looking!

Snowshoes in the Snow

Right on Track

Newly-blazed Trail

Balsam Fir

Balsam Branch in Snow

This afternoon, winter returned to Missouri, and I hear it rumored that there may be snow on the way. I hope, I hope! For like Bronson Alcott, who wrote January 16, 1879,

I may say that without snow, however cold the weather, winter has not come,in fancy at least, bringing with it the lively sensation and sports of earlier days. I enjoy the cold, particularly the glow and brisk blood of January. Then is the time for intellectual illumination, the delights of conversation, the birth of ideas. Blot out the winter weather from my calendar of experiences and my year would pale and please me far less than now. I am stimulated, brightened,beatified by its bracing agencies. A milder climate would stupify rather than stimulate and edify. I bear the cold far better than the heat, live a farbrisker life, enjoy my Genius more fully in winter than in summer.


(From The Journals of Bronson Alcott, Vol. II, Selected and Edited by Odell Shepard)

1 comment:

llane said...

snow is pretty. ;)