Posted tagged ‘lanterns’

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

February 3, 2018

Today is beautiful with a blue sky and the return of the sun, but it’s cold, an uninviting cold. I have no inclination to go outside. The hot air from the furnace is blowing and keeping the house warm. I won’t even get dressed. I’m nice and cozy in my sweatshirt and my flannel pants. It snowed a bit yesterday, enough to cover the walk and my car windows. I’m hoping the sun will melt the windows clean so I won’t have to brush and scrape.

I always think it is the darkness of winter which palls the spirit so I do my best to compensate. I keep white candles lit in the windows, and their light shines across the dark lawn. In the living room, I light lanterns in the corners of the room. Their candles flicker and leave shadows on the walls. On the hearth, twelve tea lights shine in the votives of the long candle holder, and a gourd filled with white lights sits atop firewood in a basket. The room is filled with light and is warm and cozy and welcoming.

I do love New England and am not tempted to leave for sunnier climes. I am tired of winter, but around this time I am always tired of winter. The two years I spent in Ghana gave me an even greater appreciation for the changing seasons I so love. It was always warm there, and I tired of the warmth. I wanted to be cold, to see my breath on a crisp winter’s morning. I missed the beauty of snow and how wonderful it looks as it falls and how breathtaking the world is after a snowstorm. I wanted to welcome spring with all its colors and sights and smells. Where I lived in Ghana had no flowers. It had baobab and pawpaw trees and fields filled with millet and yams. It had grass, tall and green, but it had no flowers. I missed looking for the first spring shoots to appear, for the crocus and the daffodils.

Spring is always a miracle, and I wait for it with great expectations. Every day I check for the tips of shoots in my front garden. When I find one,  I want to dance wearing bright colors and flowers in my hair.

“Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, “I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway.””

January 26, 2015

Naming hurricanes is a long time tradition, but now we have to name blizzards. Juno is the one we’re braced for now. As for me, I espouse keeping the snow at a distance. Giving it a name seems to personalize it too much.

We have been told to prepare for the probability of losing electricity. The last time that happened during a snow storm my house got down to 37˚. I can’t think of many more ways to prepare. I have food which doesn’t need to be cooked, and when Gracie and I do a couple of errands, I’m going to add tomatoes and avocados to the larder. Everything is charged though the charges won’t last all that long. I have a lantern but I need a few more batteries. Burning wood to keep warm is almost futile as most of the heat goes right up the chimney though I love the look of a good fire. My father always called a strong and long-lasting flame a Hollywood fire. I still do. The snow won’t start until late this afternoon, and by then we’ll be home, warm for the meantime and the bird feeders will have been filled, my only other chore for the day. I’ll turn up the heat to warm the house as much as I can. It will be tropical for just a bit.

When I was a kid, snow like this was perfect to build forts and caves. The forts had protective walls to keep the snowballs at bay. The caves had rooms, but we used to have to crawl in and out the door. We’d bring something to sit on between us and the snow, and we’d pretend the cave was a house of sorts. I remember bringing my sandwich and having lunch in the dining room of our cave. The best cave we ever made was huge. It was built in the pile left by the plows. We used water to ice the ceiling and walls so they’d be firm and last a long time. Eventually snow melts, but parts of my cave lasted until almost spring. It was the only snow left.

If I don’t post tomorrow, you’ll know why.