Friday, January 28, 2011

Evil Snow Charm

Clearly I'm having commitment issues with the colors of my blog design. What can I do? All I see out my window is white. I've never seen this much snow in New England since moving here almost 20 years ago. However it feels more like a real winter, as the winters I grew up with in Iowa were laden with accumulated snow tunnels along the roadsides and driveways, prohibiting all safe driving standards and visibility before turning. I remember clearly the wicked gnawing wind at my cheeks as I walked, in part, backwards to school.

The filthy plowed snowbanks towered beyond my head, only white again upon a fresh layer from the snow Gods. They performed exceedingly well as igloos and forts, snow people and temporary storage for party beverages. My mom would fill plastic popsicle-makers with orange juice, place them in the blanket of snow on the back porch, and within a few hours they were frozen enough to eat.

Moon boots were where it was at. Along with a full length hooded down coat and a ski mask, you could produce enough close-loop sweat and snot and hat hair to effectively humiliate yourself at the school lockers while rushing from Inuit garb to uniform code with barely enough time to thaw before asked to hold your pencil. My hair was long and always froze into icicles. I remember the prickle of goosebumps irritated by navy-blue cable tights and my surly disposition to the inability to wear pants and sweatshirts in protection against the drafty blows of the old brick school building. The windows were large and the fields of snow carried on for acres upon acres, decorated only by the sparse prints of a few desperate animals and the curvy wake lines of the wind waves.

I knew the white stuff was slowly watering the daffodil hill, sure to be blooming soon enough. I knew the winds blew around the seeds from the few trees we had. I knew, every year, that winter only lasted one season, but somehow I never managed a level above loathing for the evil Iowa winter.

Today I have more of an adapted ability to tolerate (even sometimes appreciate) the winter season, and a few more coping mechanisms. One of them, obviously, is taking out my restlessness on my blog. Being snowed in for a month now, with more snow every week or more, I've been forced to examine my daily habits, and begin stirring up my deeper visions of my days here on this Earth. The obstacles have been many; job struggles, our dear friend in the ICU, and the challenges and surprises of raising a teen and a tween, spoon out hearty helpings of swearing, intense gratitude, reflection, tears, and fear. And with each inner and outer blizzard I sit with the feelings and inquire.

Inside my icy chrysalis, I dream up ways to prioritize and practice what's important to me, and intentions I have for my Journey with the Plants. Winter is, after all, the dream time. it's the sleep of the year, the nighttime of the soil. In the womb of nature, we must root for the sweet starchy sustenance of our own spirit.

I dress up for no reason other than to add interest to an otherwise timeless day. I put on a little black honey lip gloss and show up for my journal pages. I've got some good ideas, sketched out in my favorite colors, and intimately connected to the goals I already have in motion. I'm imagining another branch, just a snowdrink at a time. With a little research and some continued time, I just might accomplish it, we shall see. I've certainly had enough scarification stratification. I figure whats a little more time waiting in the dirt?

As an aside, since I seem to muse more than make here at Plant Journeys, I'll throw in a little naughty herby-ness for you.

Snow Cream

1 big bowl of fresh, clean snow
1 Tbsp chocolate syrup
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tsp vanilla extract
Drizzles of herbal elixir of choice: I like black birch or white fir.
If you don't have an elixir handy, you can harvest some tree twigs and make a strong infusion. Just cool before using.

Stir it all up and enjoy.

P.S. Don't eat yellow snow.


Anonymous said...

The oddest part of this is that here in Iowa we've hardly any snow at all, this year. It is actually thawing a bit today. We've had some bitter cold though; enough to cause me to worry about my plants.

For the most part, I enjoy the winter when I am allowed to hibernate with my indoor projects that I never have enough time for the rest of the year.

Darcey Blue said...

yum! with maple too!

Anonymous said...

Lovely thoughts, Ananda. In many ways, so reflective of my own.

My husband doesn't understand my need of coming up with coping methods to deal with this inundation of whiteness. I'm thinking it's because the snow makes movement in and around my world so very difficult. And I am feeling just a bit trapped and resigned to only traveling in cleared paths and sidewalks. Maybe that's why the simple act of throwing on my snow pants and trudging through the backyard can feel so freeing.

I am thinking of walking in the woods today, finding a clean patch of snow for snow cream and contemplating my own inner blizzards.

Much love,

tansy said...

we've had the same experience with snow this year...not this much since i was a kid.

i've found this winter to be much more productive for me than last...i think the full spectrum lights have helped along with the nettles infusions i've been consuming on a regular basis. it feels good to have energy and inspiration and make full use of this 'down' time.

Anonymous said...

I would love to talk to you about an issue that I feel is a hot topic in environmental news. I have written an article that I think your readers would be interested in seeing on your blog.

Did you know that in the last 100 years, our agricultural habits have left us with about a quarter of the crop diversity we once had?

I'm looking to promote that idea that by encouraging grocery shoppers to branch out from their usual selections and to join the local food movement, they can help to conserve this forgotten species, and create a more sustainable agricultural system.

Kori Bubnack