Unlike July, I didn’t smell Winter when she arrived.  Winter doesn’t teem with life, and the high country is long since swathed in layers of aquamarine ice and crusted snow.

And I didn’t hear Winter, either.  Unlike last year, Winter did not arrive with screaming winds and -40 temperatures.  She did not drop four feet of snow on the ground before Thanksgiving.  But she did evict all of the birds from the Mirror, which is nearly sturdy enough to walk on now.  And so I hear nothing in the bottomless depths of the blue-black mornings, nothing except Maggie’s murmurs as she eats, the creak of the old wicker rocking chair, and the occasional avalanche of snow off the Warehome roof.

Laying on your back in the Big Field, on a warm night in July, you can think that the naked eye could never see more stars.  But if you visit in December, you will find that the lack of light causes the stars to burn so brilliantly against their black velvet canvas that Van Gogh would be ashamed of his rendition of Starry Night.  And so, for the month of December, I will find Winter’s silent presence charming.

And in January, the Southern girl in me will flip through the catalogs of bikinis and Burma, and long for spring.

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