It’s New Year’s Eve … a time of reflection and celebration. I had planned on a retrospective of some of my favorite photos for this year, many of which you won’t have seen. However, Mother Nature gave us something of a gift – snow and hoar frost combined with very Canadian dry temperatures below freezing.
My boots squeak as I take my morning walk; my nose tingles slightly with cold, my cheeks are rosy and the most amazing sparkles catch my eye. You never know how much you miss something, until you have it after a long period of absence.
Winter came down to our home one night Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow, And we, we were children once again. ~ Bill Morgan Jr
The chilled air smelled of woodsmoke, of distances and passing time. Frost glimmered on the morning fields. Crows called across the pewter afternoons. ~ James Carlos Blake, Wildwood Boys
There’s a certain Slant of light, Winter afternoons— That oppresses, like the Heft Of Cathedral Tunes— Heavenly Hurt, it gives us— ~ Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886, There’s A Certain Slant of Light
Approach! The incrusted surface shall upbear thy steps, And the broad arching portals of the grove Welcome thy entering. Look! the massy trunks Are cased in pure crystal; each light spray, Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven, Is studded with its trembling water-drops, That glimmer with an amethystine light. ~ William Cullen Bryant, 1794-1878, A Winter Piece
How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year! ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1823-1911, April Days
Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter’s evening, when dusk almost hides the body, and they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day. ~Virginia Woolf, 1882-1941, Night and Day
All nature feels the renovating force Of winter — only to the thoughtless eye In ruin seen. ~ James Thompson, 1700-1748, Winter
The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, Frost at Midnight
Smooth and clean and frosty white, The world looks good enough to bite. ~Ogden Nash, 1902-1971, Winter Morning Poem
These winter nights, against my window-pane Nature with busy pencil draws designs Of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines, Oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines, Which she will make when summer comes again— Quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold, Like curious Chinese etchings…. ~ T. B. Aldrich, 1836-1907, Frost-Work
It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ~John Burroughs, 1837-1921, Winter Sunshine
You do not miss the flowers and the songsters, or wish the trees or fields any different, or heavens any nearer. Every object pleases…. the straight light-gray trunks of the trees… how curious they look, and as if surprised in undress. ~ John Burroughs, 1837-1921, Winter Sunshine
Take winter as you find him, and he turns out to be a thoroughly honest fellow with no nonsense in him, and tolerating none in you, which is a great comfort in the long run. ~ James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891
… Winter, the aged chief, Mighty in power, Exiles the tender leaf, Exiles the flower. ~ Robert Fuller Murray 1863–1894, A December Day
Regarding winter: … only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~ Ruth Stout, 1884-1980
Green moss shines there with ice encased; The long grass bends its spear-like form; And lovely is the silvery scene When faint the sun-beams smile. ~ Robert Southey, 1774-1843, Ode Written on the First of December
If at any time the weather is too bleak and cold for you, keep the sunny side of the trunk, for a wholesome and inspiring warmth is there, such as the summer never afforded….” ~Henry David Thoreau, Nov. 8, 1858
Winter giveth the fields, and the trees so old, Their beards of icicles and snow… ~ Charles duc d’Orléans, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Then comes Winter, with bluster and snow, That brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow… ~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, The Four Seasons
Song falls silent, music is dumb, But the air burns with their fragrance, And white winter, on its knees, Observes everything with reverent attention. ~ Anna Akhmatova, 1889-1966, In Vyborg
He withers all in silence, and in his hand Unclothes the earth and freezes up frail life. ~William Blake, 1757-1827, To Winter
A severe artist! No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel. ~ John Burroughs, 1837-1921, The Snow Walkers
The days are short The sun a spark Hung thin between The dark and dark. ~ John Updike, 1932-2009, “January,” A Child’s Calendar, 1965
Tomorrow, it will be 2015. There will be change, of mind, of heart, of direction. Change welcomes so many guises. A few days of true winter — they clear the mind, hearten the spirit — bring me back to myself, my roots, just in time to cross the threshold of the new year.
Thank you to all of you who have followed me over the past couple of years and to those who joined us this past year. Today, I share not only my photographs, but the impressions of people over time as they looked out upon their winters. I look forward to sharing more of what this Canuck’s eyes view on this journey called life.
Happy New Year.