Innocence of Winter
Today’s share was going to be about some of my past winter vignettes when I stumbled upon this post. A mixture of emotions arose from a deep sleep reading the poem again. At the time I remembered worrying if I was sharing too much…I don’t feel that way today.
Winter came down to our home last night
Quietly whirling in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And I was a child once again.
Image by Kristy Zink Illustration
For me, winter often serves up a wellspring of childhood memories. But my memories aren’t packed with happy hours sledding. We didn’t share hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and whipped-cream. Mine are painful memories.
My father owned his own masonry business and summer was his busiest time so we only vacationed during winter. Dad would take my four older brothers and I out sledding, or another winter sport.
We lived very close to the famous beautiful Swallow Cliff Toboggan run constructed in 1930. To get to the slide you had to climb 125 limestone stairs to the top of the toboggan run. We started sledding early in the morning, and my father would make us continuously sled down until we would “give in” to the cold and need to quit.
It was a game to us, to him it was a test of strength against weakness. He was like a vulture waiting for its prey. The pressure was intense. But, he needed to know who would last the longest or, in truth, who would break the quickest.
My father has passed and winter is bittersweet for me. I’m always excited when winter comes because as a child I would hope that our family time might be fun. But that was a rare event.
Since then, winter is the time as a child I lost my innocence. Yet, it is a beautiful season of intimacy and reflection, winter gives me the opportunity to stay inside and look inside, as we’re not called outdoors to enjoy the warmth
Snuggle up, put a throw over me and make a cup of hot tea,
and enjoy the observations on this precious season. . . .
I never broke, I outlasted my four older brothers! Icicles hung from my eyelashes and brows, lips froze with chips of ice stuck to them, face, hands, and toes so cold and nearly frozen. But I lasted, I was the strongest! My reward, he smiled a brief smile and for a moment I felt loved.
Last week taking the trash out to the alley I found a really nice sled…
and head to Swallow Cliff for one last run to let go of all those memories. To regain the innocence of winter, free to love the season I love, for the beauty, quiet and calm it provides me. Now the memories will be filled with happy thoughts!
Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments,
embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.
The innocence of Winter.