Tonight, the actual date of the full moon, we are getting an unusual snow storm for Kentucky: 8-10" inches predicted over the next 24 hours. This monstrous storm has girdled the country, barreling right through the Midwest but at its own leisurely clip. So I expect that is why it will slowly work its way across Kentucky–and, of course, is the reason why we can't see the moon tonight. A year ago we had a major ice storm here but fortunately we were too far south to be affected by it. This storm is the opposite: the further north you go in Kentucky, the less snow that is expected.
The almost full Wolf Moon over Hickory Nut Ridge: January 28, 2010.
I have enjoyed this January: lots of time in the house, puttering, some writing, working on projects, closets, office, working on the diet again after a self-imposed plateau. We've kept to our goal of not going out to restaurants too often, we're working our way through freezers and foodstuffs, and enjoying a bit of winter weather here. We've had cold and snow off and on throughout the month. I like a bit of winter and a month or so of it here will be just enough (the rest of the winter seems like a perpetual muddy November). By mid-late February here it can be quite balmy: it even was last January when they were building our chicken house and shop.
School was canceled this morning but the snow didn't really start until 5pm. Oh well. No one complained–as the cold will go right through next week, the snow that falls will be on the ground for a while. It will be interesting to see how that affects school for our boys next week. Today they were supposed to have celebrated their 100th day in the school year but now it will have to wait. They've more than passed the midway bump now. The years just pass so quickly, the older they all get–the older I get! I have a good feeling about this decade for some reason: my daughter and I were talking about this on the phone last night. How we as humans seem to go through 7-year cycles in our lives, some better than others. But there is this necessary sloughing and growth, a renewal of sorts, that occurs within me every 7-years or so. Wintertime provides a sort of annual sloughing and soul-renewal, too: I welcome the introspection and occasional solitude, as long as I do not get consumed by it.
Picturing that first snow felt comforting. But why?...something deep inside me seemed to relax when I thought of seeing, just outside my window, those first thick white flakes begin to fall...like a white curtain, closing off the rest of the world. They would cover everything. I could sense them muffling my grief, hushing my tumult, damping my sense of loss...The world will be fresh and white, and I will start again.
~ from Leaning Into the Wind–A Memoir of Midwest Weather by Susan Allen Toth [University of Minnesota Press: 2003]
So a snow day–or a whole stretch of winter confinement–is just permission for lots more puttering, some blogging, cooking (I'll post some more recipes, too, and that "Friendship Quilt" blog at last!), ordering chicks and some seeds, and just hunkering in. I need that for a bit of time each year as I am, by nature, an old crazy hermit woman. I embrace this now where I used to fight this aspect of my nature. I'm going to finally get to our Christmas cards, too (besides, they say "Season's Greetings" and our printed letter says "Happy New Year-ish"). It would seem the perfect weekend to sit down in my big comfy chair with a cup of tea and a pile of holiday cards. It's just been that kind of season: leisurely, no pressure, lots of rest, sleep, time for reading, and a renewed sense of who I am and what I'm trying to do. Hopefully it will also be a time of renewal for the world and for our country. We can only hope. In the meantime, I know what I can manage in my own little haven here on our Kentucky ridge and sometimes, most of the time, that is enough.
Here's to comforting blankets, warm food in our bellies, the love of friends and family, peace down in the valleys and high on the ridge tops, and to a better decade ahead. Hurrah for the 2010s!
NOTE: While adding a few more thoughts and the Susan Allen Toth quote here tonight, I was serenaded by a chorus of howling dogs. I guess they don't call it the "Wolf Moon" for nothing! [If you are obsessed with weather, like I am, you might enjoy Toth's book of ten essays on Midwestern weather, Leaning Into the Wind. She also wrote three excellent travel books on her love affair with England that I highly recommend. Her writing style is seamless and approachable and there are times I feel like I'm reading chapters, or at least excerpts, from my own life and perspectives. ]