February Thaw

mid-winter thaw
the trees in our yard
hopelessly hopeful

At the end of January we were hearing that a Polar vortex was about to descend on us, plunging temps down to -30 C. Last week Monday, January 30th, eighteen young men from different parts of the US and Canada were arriving for a special Preparatory Class* our congregation is hosting. Our home youth were jubilant! Coming from Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, California, Washington, Idaho and Wisconsin, these young men were about to experience a Canadian winter! (In all fairness, the fellow from WI shouldn’t be too overwhelmed.)

And they did feel the chill to some extent. Monday evening the temp was -20 or below. However, our polar vortex soon moved on; since then we’ve had a really mild spell with temps hovering between -1 and -6. They did get in a game of hockey last Saturday, now the skating rinks are getting slushy. The predicted low tonight is -13 C – that ought to help.

At 7:30 this morning it was -2 C. Yesterday I noticed our poplar trees are budding. Will they never learn!

*This is a class to teach these young men about the faith, to prepare them for Christian life and service. They also get to experience a different environment, maybe a different culture, and mix with other young church brethren. There are Preparatory classes for girls as well.

Soon Comes Spring!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is SHILLY-SHALLY. An interesting alliteration, pall to dilly-dally, I suppose. M-W claims this morphed from folks of olden times dithering, asking “Stand shall I? Shall I?” I’ll use it in this verse:

Spring is Coming!

Though daylight hours be few
when February’s due
though deep the heaps of snow
and bitter winds that blow
though temps still shilly-shally
around the minus twenty
don’t despair, for seasons swing
we’re on our way to spring.

Winter Delights

Snow and Cold

Sandy came in from sweeping snow off the steps, pulled off her mitts and scarf, rubbed her hands together and began to sing.
“Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, icicles dripping from your nose,
frozen birds strung out on a wire…”

Coltin grinned. “You haven’t got the words quite right there.”

“I sing it the way I see it. It’s -32 this morning with a light breeze. As in frigid. My poor birds!”

“Look at the up side of the season. Our world needs winter. It’s a rest for the earth. This cold will kill off the bugs. Snow melt waters the land in spring.”

“Still, you notice how many great songs and poems have been written about the other seasons and how few about winter,” she said. “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…”

“Well, you’re the poet. Why don’t you versify some of the laudable things about our winter? Fat snowflakes falling from the sky. Catching snowflakes on your tongue. Sunshine glistening on snowbanks. That kind of thing. Leave off the killing bugs part.”

Sandy went to her desk and flipped through several notebooks. “I did write one once — but it probably won’t enthuse you much. Ah, here it is.” She read from a coil-bound notebook:

Winter dreams

Oh, to fly with blackbirds
twirl with the windblown leaves
that dance the autumn through.
Such are winter’s day dreams
for the snow-bound scarecrow
with his frozen smile.

“Hmm… Yeah.” Coltin handed back the book. “It’s okay, but for extolling the virtues of winter, this doesn’t cut it.”

“The best of winter’s virtues I can think of this morning is that it doesn’t stay. Now I’d best pop out and feed the birds. Can’t imagine how they survive.”

“”Well, there’s one praiseworthy note. It kills the bugs but not the birds.”

Ragtag Daily Prompt: ICICLE
Pixabay image of sparrows in snow: Santa3