Winter eases over Asheville slowly, taking its time to settle blanket-like on the mountains....which is fine, since once its cold I retreat indoors, rarely leaving my nest. In a lot of ways this 'hibernation' or retreat, happens on several levels. I stay inside my house, inside my head, waiting for spring, warmth and green. The bare trees and frosted mountain tops are lovely, but I find it very hard to be cheerful. I am too affected by the world around me, the negativity and chaos, but also the sadness that always comes when I think of Christmas. For our family, we hope that one day my brother will come home from wherever he's been these past twenty years. Its a fog that creeps in and keeps me cold.
This winter will be different. I'm taking a stand. We put up lights on our house to cheer us when we pull up the curb. When I hear about something that makes me think humans are horrid creatures, I think about all the things we've made that make us brilliant: The Book of Kells, watercolor pencils, solar power, Japanese soaking tubs and ball jointed dolls (among so many other things). I guess that's like stringing happy lights in my brain. This world of ours is a wondrous place, full of beauty and magic. That is what this season will represent to me from now on.