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How Sweet the Winter Rains
How Sweet the Winter Rains
By Tony DeLorger © 2011
How sweet the winter rains, the seal of all renewal. They wash away the languid remains of waste, the remnants of sunlight games and laughter. To now curl up and nestle warm behind panes of glass and watch the transformation, is all that one can do. And take pleasure in the rivulets of water washing away the tainted and cleansing the footprints of past.
Dark brooding clouds gather above, enclosing my world in a soft blanket, and shutting out the dreams of activity. It is time for hibernation, to rest and gather strength for the long winter’s chill. Thoughts of play must now give way to respite in nooks and hollows, lost in slumber’s gaze.
Nature’s hold will soon be complete, trees stripped, standing like scarecrows, appearing lifeless. Life recedes, powers down to standby, barely conscious and awaiting the return of the warm kiss of regeneration. For now all is hushed, listening to the rains and the incessant cleansing of life.
Creatures scurry to higher ground, make nests and dig in. Everything is suddenly hidden, retreating into the shadows. Streets look bare and empty and there is a silence, the sounds of daily movement down to necessity. Everyone moves with fervour, swift and direct to destinations; no afternoon stroll or moonlight wander. Simply doors shutting quickly echo in the streets, and herald retreat.
I love the winter, the pleasure of simple things: being snuggled up warm, listening to the rain, reading under a soft light and dreaming about the gentle warmth of the sun. For all of its discomfort, winter affords us the appreciation of what we have, our blessings. It reminds us that we are vulnerable and that nature is foreboding.
In summer I revel in the activity and movement of life, vibrant and nurturing. But it is in winter that I appreciate it, realise that this stark contrast gives us cause to celebrate just being alive. The seasons pass one by one; offering gifts so individual they are defined by how we enjoy them, experience them. They are life’s clock, ticking.
I love to walk on the beach in winter, feel the chill of sea spray on my face and smell the salty air. The waves, unruly and angrily pound the shoreline, as if to demonstrate their power, remind us how small we are.
Gulls squawk above, looking for a meal in the white foam and choppy soup, their haunting sounds echo along the deserted beach. A lone trail of footsteps behind me is the only evidence of human contact. It is a desolate landscape, but there is a quality of serenity that entreats me to stay. I walk and let my mind wander, my senses alive and sharp.
By winter’s end I am dreaming of sun, the distant memory of that warmth tugging at me. I shall not forsake winter’s beauty and her promise of change, but my heart now looks to spring and nature’s rebirth. For all this I give thanks.