Saturday, December 22, 2012

First Light, First Snow

I woke at first light to see the roads outside my bedroom window turning white. Compared to the living earth—which is warm in comparison to slabs of pavement—they were a sharp contrast to the breathing mud. It was as if someone had turned my mountain into a game board with a definite track to move pieces along. It was a happy scene, those lovely, portentous roads. I sprang out of bed and checked the weather update.


Just a few inches, but the forecast was calling for inches. I was hoping for this, having done some preparing the night before. I was worried if I got the farm too ready for a snow day I'd junk it. Like Hemingway said, "You lose it if you talk about it," and we all know that's true. Anticipation can be a jinx. If you set aside a ready-to-brew pot of coffee the night before, pick out a book or favorite movie, and volunteer the crock pot for a snow day feast…. it rains. So last night all I did was chop some dry kindling and set it in a metal sap bucket by the wood stove. A humble gesture. Letting Winter know if she wanted to consider precipitation, I could too.

I did the morning chores with Gibson and by the time the hour's work was done the wet grass was collecting white flakes. When the last job was completed and the sheep were eating their hay in a circle of ovine conversation there was enough for G and I to leave tracks. I love snow, but I think I love those hours of the first snowfall most of all. This morning there are errands to run and work to do but for the now all I plan on doing is sipping a cup of hot coffee, lighting a fire, and reading about someplace in a novel. This is how I travel now. I could't be happier with it.

The the world didn't end. Shucks, the power didn't even go out. And of course it didn't. Why would anyone think the world would end on the Winter Solstice? I have respect for he Mayan people, but that was a true act of confundity. The Solstice is one of our oldest holidays of hope - the literal return of the sun. For thousands of years people of so many cultures and religions have organized all of their celebrations of rebirth, hope, and light at this time. What a beautiful thing we have done, too. For all our faults, human beings decided to place the largest holidays of warmth and kindness is the darkest times of the year. Sorry my ancient friends, if you wanted to end it all you should have planned it for April.

But Yuletide is for hope. And I hope all of you are looking forward to time with your beloveds and friends as the light returns. These next few days are for rest and celebration. Savor them.


Blogger Mim said...

Ha ha...."should have planned it for April"...make it on the 14th so I don't have to sign that check to the IRS ;)

December 22, 2012 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

April's the worst

December 22, 2012 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger sheila said...

I don't think the Mayans were trying to predict the end of the world. I bet they got that far in calculating their calendar and then guy doing the books died on them. No one else had the brains to figure out his system so it just got set aside. The surviving Mayans said, "What the hell, we'll deal with it later." They never got back to it before their civilization collapsed.

Happy snow day!

December 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many have said that if the Mayans were as smart as people claim, why are they not still around? Well,'s because they went home!! Merry Christmas everyone and Jenna, especially you and thank you for your thoughts and this wonderful blog!!

December 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many people have said if the Mayans were so intelligent about things and made a calender, why are they still not around? Well, is because they decided to go back home!! Merry Christmas!!

December 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Beautiful post! A Merry Christmas to you too, and a Splendid Solstice.. (greeting is a little belated, sorry about that.) :) Glad you're snug, cozy and happy. Life is good. It is out this way too, thought there's not a chance of snow. Just liquid sunshine. But that's okay with me!

December 22, 2012 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

I could not agree more. Enjoy yourself Jenna. Happy Christmas!

December 22, 2012 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

I've heard a lot of lovely explanations about what the Mayans actually meant, and I think you would like them. Ideas about this date being about transformation, change, community and enlightenment. One description I heard was of the ancient Mayans describing this as the transition out of non-time into time, of separate hearts beating together as one, and to think about this as "the end of this world" and the start of a better one. I'd read more, I think you'll really be interested.

December 23, 2012 at 2:01 AM  

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