“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”

The day was sunny when I first woke up. It’s cloudy now, but it’s warm so I’m fine with the clouds. The temperature is above freezing. I can hear the drips of the melting snow from the roof. They sound like rain.

This is the week of the January thaw, earlier than usual. Each new day will get progressively warmer and by Friday it will be 50˚. My mind can’t fathom 50˚ after this last week which forever changed my definition of cold. I got to the point where 8˚ felt warm.

Today is tackle the tree day. It is still lit and decorated and is the last remnant of Christmas. The living room is drab and dark without it. Winter, with its early nights and late dawnings, is back, but there is some consolation. The cold air gives the night clarity. The light of the moon shines on the snow, and stars blanket the sky. Everything is perfectly still. Lights from windows arc across the snow. Smoke curls from chimneys, and sometimes I can smell wood burning. I stand outside and brave the cold just to take in the night.

My street has no streetlights. Sometimes it can be so dark the house across the street disappears. I keep lit candles in my front windows all the time. They are but a small break in the darkness.

When I was a kid, I always greeted the first star, “Star light, star bright, The first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight.” Even now that wish just jumps into my head. I’d hate to outgrow believing in things I can’t see.

I haven’t been out in a while to go anywhere. The cold has kept me inside the house. I’ve read, watched TV, napped and saved recipes I’ll never make from magazines.

After days when we were stuck inside because of the weather, my mother would demand we go out and get fresh air. I never thought to question the importance of getting fresh air. I just bundled up and went out. I was much older before I realized my mother’s fresh air fetish was really a bid by her to stay sane. She had four kids who whined constantly about being bored after only two days stuck inside the house. She needed relief and it came under the guise of fresh air. I can still hear her. It was never go out and get some air. It was always go out and get fresh air. I don’t know why, but I love this memory.


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8 Comments on ““I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    It’ll stay around 32 here all week according to the latest predictions. I wouldn’t mind if it was slightly colder so the roads could stay frozen and not muddy. Then again, I really don’t want a “real” winter again so I better not complain too much 🙂

    My closest neighbors have lights on all day and night here. I wonder if they are afraid of the dark because if they are this really is the worst place they can live 🙂 🙂 It can be so dark here in the winter that it is impossible to see the road one is walking on 🙂 They do have one road with street lights up on the mountain though but that’s it.

    Fresh air was used here too so we were mostly at my friends homes, their parents weren’t that obsessed with fresh air 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      We’ll have cold weather again. This is but a thaw but a long thaw of almost a week.

      My yard used to get muddy but a new lawn and stones eliminated the muddy parts.

      I’m not afraid of the dark. I find lights in the window comforting. Other streets around here do have lights, but the newer streets don’t.

      My mother just wanted to get rid of us for a while, and I don’t blame her looking back on it now.

      Have a great evening!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    “Fresh air” must be a universal code word among mothers. It was used around here as well. I wasn’t often bored as I usually had my nose in a book and that was infinitely interesting. Perhaps my mother really meant that I needed to get outside and exercise my long distance vision for a change. 🙂
    I remember being outside a lot in winter. I loved sitting in the snow with my dog, our backs being warmed by the winter sun. It was almost cozy. Now and then I’d dig a hole in the snow on the south side of the apple tree and the dog and I would curl up inside to get warm again. Seemed like a fun thing at the time. Not anymore, though. I like central heating. I’m still thanking the oil burner motor every time it kicks on. 😀

    Today was cloudy but much warmer. There was some melting but not a lot. It’s nice not feeling like my bones are going to shatter every time I open the door to let the dogs out. I’m back in flip flops. All is well.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I also could just sit and read, but my mother didn’t think my staying in all the time was healthy. I needed fresh air!

      I also liked being in the snow. My street was a hill, perfect for sledding. I remember digging a giant cave in the snow left by the plow. My cave had a hall which connected a couple of rooms.We played intuit for days.

      I thought it was warm. Compared to the last few days, this was deck weather. Even Gracie was okay going outside. I can hardly wait until Friday!

  3. Hedley Says:

    Michigan was good news bad news this morning as the over night fun brought a couple more inches of snow and finally a break in the weather. 30 something this afternoon, a reward for my actions on the driveway and the Terrier’s launch pad at 5 am. I shovel and I snow blow and the road crew push snow back in to my driveway and the cycle is never ending. I foolishly watched the Golden Watsits last night and even more foolishly made disparaging remarks regarding Oprah and her lecture. Mrs MDH and I have agreed not to discuss my wrong opinion any further.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,

      Your wrong opinion gave me a chuckle. Mrs. MDH has you trained well.

      We were predicted to have snow today but it never arrived. With the warmer weather, the ice on my front steps melted, and my car is clear of snow, and I didn’t have to do it. A lot melted today and will continue to melt each day as the warmth arrives.

      Oprah’s speech and her manner of giving it brought to mind a politician revving up a crowd. I can’t see her as president though she would be better than what we have.

  4. flyboybob Says:

    Today is beautiful with clear skies and temperatures in the low 60s. Last year we had such a warm winter that the last freeze before Christmas was January 6th. This year I think we will have more below freezing weather. Last year was an anomoli.

    There are a lot of ways our mother’s persuaded us to get out of their hair. Fresh air was the universal one for ‘get out of here kid, you bother me’. 🙂 Another one was, ‘If you do ___, I’m going to put my head in the oven’. My mother used that anytime I wanted to do something that she thought was dangerous. Of course I know it didn’t matter because we had an electric oven. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      I thought today was a nice day despite the clouds. I didn’t mind being out with Gracie, and she didn’t seem to mind being outside. This week has had the coldest weather in decades.

      My mother never did the oven bit nor she did say we bothered her. She made it sound as if she was doing us a favor by having us take in fresh air. My mother was a master at guilting us.

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