In The Dead of Winter
Living the Season
For a phrase that everyone seems to understand, the phrase "in the dead of winter" is hardly understandable.
Not to take it apart word by word, for we can do that mentally in a second, let’s just visualize the phrase.
Winters where I come from, be it Maine, Utah, Illinois, or Virginia, bring a mental image of snow, icicles, evergreens, lakes and ponds covered with ice thick enough to skate on and fish through.
To me, a winter day "in the dead of winter" would have to be gray, overcast, and one in which the sun is obscured. On such days no bird would be singing, no far off chain saw would be heard biting wood, and any snow would be covered with equally gray ash from some far away power plant or interstate’s automobile exhaust..
Every other day in that so-called "dead of winter" season (for we universally understand it to refer to a season within a season) has too much life and sparkle, too many sounds and high altitude contrails, to be a reference to something moribund, even "dead."
In what other season can we see our living breath exposed, feel our fragile natures sending alarms from our extremities, or see children’s rosy cheeks framed by excited smiles as invisible angels leave their imprints in the snow?
Our own aging can usher in "the dead of winter" as we grow to view winter as an adversary rather than as a challenge to our youthful natures.
"This too shall pass" is often voiced as we older citizens forget our summer-heated wishes for cooler climes.
Soon enough we will celebrate life triumphing over death, as the annual resurrection of nature’s dormancy bursts forth in blossoming triumph and "the dead of winter," shedding its icicle tears, is left to bury it’s own dead, while earth once again takes on the more varied greens of its ending coma.
© 2013 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.