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In The Dead of Winter

Updated on November 5, 2016

Living the Season

Seeking the youthful challenges of winter.
Seeking the youthful challenges of winter. | Source


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.

Icicle Tears

The icicle tears have started, even in the fading shade of "the dead of winter."
The icicle tears have started, even in the fading shade of "the dead of winter." | Source

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    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      21 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      As discussed here, is it "The Dead of Winter" where you are this Christmas?

      It is a somewhat odd phrase, isn't it?

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      21 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      As we approach "the longest night of the year" (December 21st) we also approach this season labeled "in the dead of winter." But is it really dead, or just a time when we are inside drinking cocoa, or in Florida and Alabama at the beaches?

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      annart: A very Happy New Year to you, too, and to every Hubber around the world (many of whom are enjoying spring and summer as we write about "the crisp chill of a sunny, blue-skied winter's day.") To each of us there are seasons to write about and wonders to observe....though the gray mush of melted snow on a gray, humid day of temperature inversions can surely make one yearn for the crisp, even chilly days of winter sunshine, or flowers bursting forth!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Super photos! I love the crisp chill of a sunny, blue-skied winter's day; there's nothing like it to get the circulation going. I agree entirely; the dead of winter is when the grey, depressing days literally dampen our spirits and it seems that Spring will never come.

      Then the snowdrops appear, the primroses, the bluebells and the daffodil shoots emerge to burst forth in my favourite season.

      I like that saying re good, better, best; an optimistic view.

      Happy New Year to you and yours! Ann

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Au fait: Someone once wrote that we should spend our early years making good memories that can be a good cushion in our old age. Even the tough times serve to make the better times better. The operative phrase is the saying "Good, better, best, never rest until your good is better, and your better best." Wishing you many great memories to come.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      You bring back memories of the winters in Wisconsin where I grew up. However things were anything but dead. All that snow created a lot of activity even way out in the sticks where my family and I lived. We had a small dairy farm and that required getting up and out no matter how cold it got, and it was often below zero.

      Really like that photo of the icicles too. The ones in your photo aren't nearly as big, but they still remind me of icicles hanging off the cliffs in Colorado (the Million Dollar Highway) that were longer than either you or I are tall.

      Thanks for the memories . . .

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      phdast7: Nice to be in touch again with all you old friends from 2010-2013. We all live on Comments to our Hubs, and now that I'm back and active, I need to catch up on your Hubs and those of others who have frequently taken the time to comment on mine. Happy New Year!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      You are so right. Winter is not dead at all. It is simply a different kind of alive and we have to listen hard and perhaps watch more intently. Beautiful and startlingly beautiful picture of ice tears. Thank you. Sharing. Have a Blessed new Year. Theresa

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Gypsy Rose Lee: Sorry to set you shivvering, but shivvering is the price one pays for getting out in such pristine beauty at this season of the year, and at that altitude! ; -: ) I can imagine that Riga has you shivvering at this time of year, even at a humid sea level, and even without my photos?

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      BlossomSB: The Hub on Robert Redford and his high school claim, that one day he was going to own that mountain where his ski resort is located, had some other photos taken that same day. You might enjoy those also. Thanks for commenting.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      You expressed it very well. Made me shiver as I read the dead of winter and those icicle tears.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      An interesting hub and I love those wintry photos, too.

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      breakfastpop: I can identify with the calm feeling days, while the crisp, sparkling days with all those good ions bombarding us off the snow (or in summertime off the sand) are energizing and welcome.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      4 years ago

      I love all the seasons. A gloomy cold winter day makes me feel quite peaceful.

    • Perspycacious profile imageAUTHOR

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      The photos give you some idea of the beauty and dominance of winter right now at Robert Redford's Sundance Resort in Orem, Utah. By the way, I have heard high praise for his acting in his current film. Last year I enjoyed writing about Christmas Eve. This year I spent it enjoyably with the family of five of my 17 grandchildren as well as with my wife and the two college freshmen here from France to spend the year with us while attending Utah Valley University (also in Orem, Utah.) Thanks for taking a part of your Christmas day to read and comment on this year's Hub.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Winter has its own unique beauty, and you describe it colorfully. Enjoyed reading. Thanks.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      A phrase I never gave a lot of thought to. Great explanation. Interesting read.

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