Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter Paradise

The north wind is wrestling with a warm front, as gray clouds jockey for position. The air is electrified with a cacophony of birds. Like the dissonant noise before a symphony, the musicians warm up. Winged sections flutter overhead. Dozens of sporadic flocks moving, migrating, chirping hello to their southern cousins as they hurry past, using their invisible GPS.
Across the river, the audience of one hundred foot pines and bare armed cypress stands and waits. A few have dressed in their early chartreuse buds of welcome for the traveling orchestra. The resident mockingbird sits silently on the fence, waiting for his cue. The cheep of the local cardinal couple announces their morning fly by. No seed in the feeder, they move on with a titter.  
For a moment the air stills with anticipation. The hawk conductor has spread his wings. He sores on the updraft. Slowly the music of spring begins to rise, wooing the blooms and chlorophyll. A fish jumps. The slap of tail to water creates a percussive ripple.
The north wind tickles the hair on my neck. A chill runs down my arm. I must leave the porch swing and my winter paradise to fill the dryer and make the beds. Snowbirds of the human variety are coming to call.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February Blues

It's amazing how a little company coming for a visit can create so much dirt. I see fingerprints and cat hair in places where, I'm sure it wasn't last week. I've washed sheets and blankets until the washer groaned. And who spilled that sticky mess in the refrigerator?

Okay, so what? Take a deep breath. If the weather has you stuck inside (or you're sick of cleaning house), and you can't take that refreshing walk, here's an exercise to turn those February "blues" pink.



Wednesday, February 6, 2013


As the leaves fell in September, I remember my despair. My mind ached with the coming gray and bare, the monochrome of winter in South Louisiana. There's no promise of snow here, that fresh fall of magic, waking in the morning to white silence; the reverent beauty that washes the soul. I remember January in Michigan. Shovel in hand, the romance fades; snow turns to gray and fluff to mush.

I pass the barren woods near my house and recall my earlier fears. Striped of its green undergrowth, the new horizon, unseen in summer, stands naked and proud, majestic, serene, uncomplicated. My backyard hosts several ruffly azaleas, dotting the landscape with whimsy. Last year's green lay yellow and dormant beneath the final fallen leaves while perfumed hyacinths sway top heavy with white blossoms. Down the street February Camillas scream spring, dressed in their red finery. Along the country highway thousands of birds, reminiscent of Hitchcock, swoop and dance in migratory clouds, performing avian acrobatics, above fallow fields and unconcerned cows. This is home now, I feel it in my bones, or maybe it's that northeaster blowing in for one last who-rah.