It can be taken as a bother. Pinching, wincing, painful faces we pull as we slip and shuffle over slick sidewalks to our cars. There is a face as well for scraping frost off the windows, especially if some of it ends up on that vulnerable gap between glove and sleeve. There’s the way the seats inside creak with stiffness and we get tangled in a battle between our scarves and our seat belts and how the heater never catches up until we’ve arrived at our destinations, and there’s the fact that the children will always ask that you turn up the heat, and you’ll bristle because you’ve explained how heaters in cars need time to warm up a million times plus twenty.
Winter, after the twinkly brightness and joy of Christmas have passed, can seem like a gray that pains, a long stretch of ache, and mothers can start climbing the walls.
Here we haven’t had much snow yet, but 27 days without sunshine seemed significant. There was precipitation and cold but not concurrently, so we had a lot of rain and mud and children who weren’t spending enough of their exuberant energy out of doors. That’s crazy-making, for all of us.
From last year, when the snow wore the children out on a regular basis.
Now, this year baby Tobias came and it feels like I carry Summer’s warmth, and Spring’s flowers, and Fall’s bright leaves all in my heart at once. The winter hems us in, tucks us into our house where the tall old windows let the light pool out onto the dark yard. It lays sleep on the roses and the grapes and, praise God above, the weeds, and my to-do lists are all house-bound.
It’s enough to know that the seasons will keep rolling around again, isn’t it? When my children are driving me batty with their big bodies crashing through the house in a game of tag and their noise is prodigious, it’s enough.
Because in winter’s deep there’s a baby tucked into my arms, soft little fuzzy newborn head below my chin, and the winter hems us in, and the windows spill light into the dark.