The Pancake Chronicles

The Pancake Chronicles: an exchange

The Pancake Chronicles

Sunday, March 16, 2008

an exchange

      This winter has felt uncommonly long. The more I think of spring the more winter stamps it big Acton boots all over me as though thoughts of flowers and green leaves are wildfire. Those who've lived in the North for a long time know that this is spring. Mr. and Mrs. Fox and Mallard are pairing up on unchaperoned dates, the sun is high and bright, birds join great birdy choirs (no auditions necessary) in the barren trees. What do they all know that I don't know? It's white and and it's cold and it's getting to me. And I hate that it's getting to me. I want to be stronger than weather.
      I was trying to figure out why winter has felt particularly long this year. I thought being away on holidays would help. I was looking forward to a few days on the other side of the fence in hopes that some milder clime and green would help me to stick it out awhile longer in deep subzero. But AAAHHH. As wonderful as it has been to be away it hasn't helped me deal with being here while I'm here. In fact it may have made it worse. And that struck me like a brick. Looking to something else for the pure joy and reprieve of it is one thing but looking to something else to fix what ails you is another. There are good and needed things that come along, like vacations or chocolate or a night out or a warm conversation, that help us through whatever it is we're dealing with but "whatever it is" is still there and usually ends up needing to be dealt with directly.
      My tulips didn't survive. I think I may have overwatered them because they moulded. So here I am. What am I left with? I need a different set of eyes to see that bright, cold sun and welcome it. New ears to relish the sound of returning birds despite the leafless trees and deep snow. It feels a little like dying - this giving up of what I feel I have to have in exchange for what I do have and with acceptance and gratitude, with joy. With intention. But if I don't spring could be here and I might miss it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog and read it faithfully. I live in the desert southwest. I do not like the ever present sun, brown, bald mountains, scrub and tumbleweeds. I never had a dream of leaving earth to live on the moon! as this is how it feels to me The southwest leaves my soul shriveled and dry, the same the the blowing sand does to my eyes and skin. We're having extreme winds today; the skies are faded and tan. I can now feel for the pioneer women; I fully understand why they went mad in the prairie winds.
I love cold and snow and seeing my breath on a winter's day. I love scarves and boots and wool sweaters, knee socks and flannel pjs. Hot tea/coffee and curling up by a fire. I love dark evenings and homemade soup and bread to savor at the end of the day. I love sunsets and sunrises on winter days. The air is cold and yet full of anticipation and wonder. It sharpens my focus. I thank you for sharing the photographs of a place that I've never seen and probably never will. And I hope the next tulip bulbs you plant will survive and help you as you are coming out of the long, cold winter that you live in a place of rare beauty and are very blessed!

16 March 2008 at 17:11  
Blogger Colleen said...

Thank you, Kas! I'm glad you said hello. Your words made me decide to change my original "springy" photo from one of my holidays back to a winter one. It's true that in life we do find ourselves in places that we never have wished or dreamed to be and it can be a struggle to accept it. Reading your words reminds me of how one's frustration can be another's blessing. It helps me to know that my winter is a bit of reprieve for you - it makes it much more bearable knowing someone else is gaining something good from it. :) I hope you can find a little shade and shelter from the ever-present sun and wind, perhaps a cool patch against a shaded wall and a large iced tea. Thanks again for encouraging me to remember I am blessed. ♡

16 March 2008 at 23:06  
Anonymous clara said...

Sorry about the tulips, I was hoping to see pretty pictures. Here on this island, we have our fair share of heated weather woes...but well, we have to adjust and endure and 'go green' much more. :-)

17 March 2008 at 23:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogs provide an opportunity for mini-retreats. All who see and read what others write are allowed to travel in their minds to places we might never see otherwise. Again, thank you for sharing your corner of the world. Blessings! kas

18 March 2008 at 09:05  
Blogger Nan - said...

Colleen, I just stopped by after too long away, and my gosh, it felt like we had been talking on the phone, and I wish we really had. My post today is much the same, only different. Let's see, it is two days after yours, and maybe you feel the way I do today, now that Aries, and official Spring are closer??

I don't like leaving home for warmer climes in the winter or spring because I think it is worse to come back than to stay and watch the change come in 'my' own time, my land's own time. I can't explain it well, but it is something like breaking a rhythm, the rhythm (what a hard word that is for me to spell!) of a place to not watch the change come without interruption. Leaving in the summer or fall isn't the same. There isn't the dramatic difference I think. And then again, a lot of places which get the early spring also get brown grass and killer heat in the summer, while we have the gorgeous green and welcome warmth.

So, there's my epistle for the day. Wish I could pop up and we could go for a walk.

18 March 2008 at 09:18  
Blogger Sonya said...

It has just been in the last week that I felt I could truly say that spring has arrived. The sun has more warmth, the birds have all returned from their winter vacations and the trees are starting to bud. I feel like I'm coming back to life! Now if I could only bottle some of this beauty and send it your way. :)

18 March 2008 at 19:32  
Blogger Mrs.French said...

I really think you need to get out and buy some fresh flowers and put them in a pretty vase. This always helps me when the weather is less than lovely.

19 March 2008 at 00:16  
Blogger Felicia said...

Mrs. French makes a good suggestion. A bit of flower color can go a long way to cheer the soul.

19 March 2008 at 04:42  
Blogger Colleen said...

Brilliant idea! I know exactly what I have to do today.

19 March 2008 at 10:07  
Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

Sigh. I hear ya', sistah. Sigh again.

Hold on, though. The sunshine is hear, so I know it's wending it's way northward a few days at a time! We still have snow, but less of it every day. Never mind the cold and snow of the weekend--winter is in it's death throes!

C'mon, dear Northern Girl! Hold on for better days soon!

19 March 2008 at 15:22  
Blogger arminda said...

I just have to comment that as I scrolled down this page, I stopped at this photo and for a moment I swore I could've breathed in the cold....the moments you capture are incredible. It keeps me coming back for more...along with the surrounding text of course. :)

20 March 2008 at 21:42  

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