I woke up to winter this morning, unprepared and unwilling to let
go of the sunny burst of light that has bolstered my spirits over the past month. Of course I knew that summer was gone. School started seven weeks ago and even before then — with the end of August — came that subtle shift, the warm days and cold nights, the lowering angle of light through the trees, that says things are different, change is here.
With it comes the resignation of preparing to live through the darkest days of the year. Here on the border of the Massachusetts South Coast we are a little spoiled, being just that much more protected so we are behind the seasonal curve.
While everyone else is buckling down to the onset of wintery weather we have clung to the warmth longer as fall moved in a little slower, embracing us in what has been as perfect of an Indian Summer as I can remember. Until today.
I was shivering in pajamas and flip flops as I lugged the dog around the yard in the pre-dawn dark, tiptoeing around icy driveway puddles from a downpour last night that dropped snow everywhere else. The porch thermometer read 38 degrees as I warmed up the car for the daily drop-off to the high school and I regretted slipping outside
so unprepared as my feet began to freeze.
But where are the winter coats? Do I have any socks? I used my Subway card to chip a layer of ice off the windshield. Scrapers? A mental note to go find them. I guess it’s finally time to put away the shorts and T-shirts and find the sweaters and shawls.
In some ways I welcome the seasonal shift and its excuse to nest, looking to the delight of stirring up savory stews and homemade pies. But I also dread turning back the clocks to cement those long months of dark and cold. There is something so lonely about that old saying, “Spring ahead, Fall back” that rules this time zone.
There is beauty in snow and ice and the wintery blanket that will be our constant companion from here on out, and of course the holidays we love that soothe and salve under starry winter skies. But that can be tough to appreciate when beloved beds of tender flowers lie frozen and dead in the yard, it starts to get dark at 4:30, and my soul still
cries out for sun.