In the Thick of It

I have never really lived in a place with winter. Not since I was a little girl and spent a couple of white, wet seasons in upstate New York. I never even learned to ski, thanks to a paranoid gymnastics coach, so I skipped all those Tahoe trips so many of my friends took, and still take.

I have to admit, I was afraid of it. Afraid of the way it might chill me to the bone, especially given how easily I have always gotten cold. Afraid of the slick sidewalks and icy roads. And yes, I was also afraid of what I might do, stuck here in one tiny room longing for my garden and for spring to come.

I have always been able to garden all year through. San Francisco’s temperate climate means there is always something to do — rake, mulch, plant, trim. The garden is always calling you. But not here. Here the garden is sleeping beneath it’s thick, white winter blanket. You can’t even hear it breathing the world is so quiet thanks to the snow.

I never believed I’d actually say this, but I am in love with winter. In love with the white. In love with the silence. In love with the way the world slows down. It is such an amazing blessing, all this space and time I never knew I longed for.

There is a whole world in this one room, free of the demands of the garden. I have found time to get back to hobbies and projects too long put aside. I have started making quilts again. I have been writing. I have this whole new old life that my lust for greenery had pushed aside, and I am loving it. And I want to share it with you. Because while I am reveling in letting the garden lie fallow, the blog shouldn’t have to. There is enough growth in this one room to keep this space thriving no matter how hard or how long it snows.

Of course that means some things will have to change. This blog will need to stretch out and make room. It will sometimes need to peer into cupboards. It will sometimes need to look out at the world. It will need to find the connection between plant and fabric and word and stone. And there is a connection. It’s called Home.

Winter Comes Early

This morning when I woke up the rain was pounding heavy on the rooftops. Rain we desperately need after the long, dry summer. I listened to it for a long time, letting my mind wander from water, to transforming my new studio casita into a comfortable home, to the words I need to write for this years Nanowrimo novel. By the time my mind returned to the rain, the room had hushed and I was surrounded by a silence I hadn’t known since my few childhood winters in Rochester, New York. A silence I could wrap myself up in like the most comfortable quilt I’ve ever known — the corduroy one my mother made that still sits on the couch in my parent’s family room. I looked out the window to see what it was.

Fat snowflakes floated slowly down in bunches, coating the still-green apple leaves and newly mulched ground in a dusting of white. I have known snowy winters before. I have seen blizzards and light snow. I have experienced the “joys” of sleet and wintery mix. But this was special — my first real snow in my first real home in this strange new place. It is worth every centipede and every cold nose.