Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Between Seasons

Has anyone seen winter?
Not that we ever see the kind of winter that blankets the world in drifting crystalline sparkle, or includes the words: sleet, windchill, flurries, subfreezing, black ice, snowplow, storm windows, or long johns.

Still... where has winter gone? Our days have been warmer than late spring, as clear as summer, as breezy as fall, but not a bit like winter. I know a lot of people are settling into this dry, blue skied spree, with tremendous satisfaction. Certainly haven't heard any complaints... not like the bemoaning we hear when it is raining for more than a day, when the gray skies of June linger into July. No, I cannot say I've heard anyone say, I miss winter. When will it rain? Where are the clouds?

I do. I miss winter. When will it rain? Where are the clouds? Oh, I do like these beautiful days. There isn't really anything to complain about, except I do worry. We need rain. Rain is free water, a commodity in short supply in this region. I like the change in the pace, the cycle and rhythm of a new season, like winter. It'd be kind of nice to bring out sweaters and scarves, to acclimate for a reasonable duration to one climate, one season... and not have to switch back and forth between almost like summer warmth one day, then almost like winter cold the next.

And snow! Not that we ski, or snowboard, but I know there has been little or no snow, and this deepens the water crisis. We need deep, water holding, snow to accumulate and mound in great heaps in our Sierras. It's our long term deposit for the drier months ahead.

Golly, what a tangent! I thought my reflections would be a brief and passing sentiment about the lack of rain, and then I was going to sashay into a poem about all the loveliness we have been enjoying recently. Well, maybe not an actual poem, but the loveliness of late is poetic and lyrical, and worthy of fanciful forays into linguistic form.

The owls, are they in love? Are they hunting? Every night, all night, and at sunrise, they call. From tree tops, across the stars, around our rooftop, they call, and answer, and call. I listen to them from my office, from bed, in the kitchen, when I go out to tuck the chickens in, and pat Sanka's head. Sometimes I call, too, then wait, and they answer... I pretend they understand me. I love to hear those owls.

And the moon! It's astonished me every night this week. It's been so... so much like a moon, all round and glowing, luminous, celestial, a gravitating force that pulls me out into the night and makes me feel connected, and very small, all at once.

We want to pitch our canopy, and sleep under the stars, near the moon. We talked about taking the outdoor screen outdoors. Maybe the mosquitoes have left... maybe they don't know it's like summer here. I won't say we've made actual plans. I guess I am superstitious enough to believe that nothing would change this weather faster than us making plans!

One apple tree is hanging on to two tiny apples, and the other is blooming like it's spring. Who can say what this season is?... but I intend to make the most of it, until something new comes along.


Stephanie Barrett said...

Here in Riverside, our one apple tree has both apples and new blooms! Here's to lots of rain, but no freezing!

kevinbrice said...

It is more then freezing cOld here especially in the mornings. I find ice on the grass and on te car windshield. However it has been strikingly dry for a San Luis obispo winter. I'm thinking about getting a space heater.

ArtyZen said...

Sounds like we're having similar weather, though with one exception. Our Sierra is knee deep in snow and looking stunning against the blue background - I can lose myself just staring at it when I take the dog for a walk in the mornings.
We will get rain, and probably snow, but just now, the days are stunning. I too will just try and enjoy it! Why not!
PS - we only have one type of owl here, a very little one, that makes a beeping noise! Can't remember it's name but it's teeny weeny and difficult to see.

Jennifer said...

We're having a winter-less winter here, too, and it's unsettling. But we have also been reveling in the glory of the moon this week -- as Dorothy said of the Emerald City, it looks "closer, and prettier than ever!"

judy in ky said...

What lovely words and photos, Natalie. Whatever your season is, it looks nice. We have been having a warm January here, but the rain is supposed to turn to snow this afternoon. I would still rather be in Hawaii!

warren said...

You look to be in full blown spring there. Have no fear, it is crappy here! It's warm and no snow yet...winter warm means 40 but better than 10. Anyhow, it is not really winter here, just crummy. It's not winter and it's not spring. It's just yuck. We are getting plenty of water though. I am so thankful for that