Winter Wonderland Solution
If life gives you snow, make a snowman.
The January Debatable proved a lively round of arguing. Mike Allegra appointed Jilanne Hoffmann as his proxy while he trotted off to a fellowship for work on his newest creative endeavor. Niggling wonderment if the fellowship is just a guise not to lose another round of Debatables traisped across my pathway of reason for not participating. I mean, I teach, grade essays, and contribute to my blog on a weekly basis… Y’know–just wondering.
This month’s topic of contention for readers to decide: Which scene is more ominous–Edward from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe meeting the White Witch in the winter woods of Narnia or Scrooge meeting up with the ghost of Marley one dark night in A Christmas Carol?
Jilanne proved to be a formidable debate partner. Even with sound logic and a solid grasp of what ominous really means from readers such CharlesBakerHarris , Chelsea Owens, and Courtney Wright, Edmund could not nudge past the last minute flurry of voting for Scrooge’s encounter with Marley. Even Mr. Allegra went the way of ghost protocol. [Really, Mike?]
Jilanne wins the January round, and she added her own style of quippery to the verbal sparring.
If you missed out, you can backtrack and read our exchange here. You can even still vote–as long as it’s for Edmund, and as long as you know it’s only to make me feel better.
See you next month for a new round of Debatables.
I am not a fan of winter. I may have mentioned that once or twice. In fact, I confess, I am known to have at least one ridiculous emotional meltdown–a little kid unreasonable tantrum, when the first snow makes landfall. Yes, I am embarrassed. If they had a support group for Winter Lamenters Anonymous I would attend.
Once my tantrum is over I am resigned to winter. To not acknowledge that we are stuck with it for the next 3-5 months is added misery. I buy sweaters and sip cocoa. More books get read. I try to find the bright side to the dark days of winter. Nope, I don’t ski. I might be convinced to sled though.
For the most part I ignore creative acknowledgements of winter. Don’t sing to me about wintertime; I am not interested in chirpy little winter televised specials. Fine. Maybe the Olympics. So, I was surprised when I actually liked the poem that dropped into my mailbox that’s part of my subscription service. You do subscribe to a poem service, right?
This caught my eye since it caught how I feel about the onset of winter. It earned double appreciation points having been penned by William Carlos Williams–the doctor poet. Enjoy.
The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
where the salvias, hard carmine,—
like no leaf that ever was—
edge the bare garden.
January is that in between month. The newness of winter’s snow has moved into icy gray lumps at the side of the driveway. In order to not lose myself in thinking I’m stuck into a Narnian winterland, I try to see winter from different perspectives. I appreciate the idea of stubbornly clinging on to the past season of leafy trees and, of course, Whitman always has a new view to consider. There is also William Carlos Williams and his take on the first month of the year.
Each year I mark one lone outstanding tree,
Clad in its robings of the summer past,
Dry, wan, and shivering in the wintry blast.
It will not pay the season’s rightful fee,—
It will not set its frost-burnt leafage free;
But like some palsied miser all aghast,
Who hoards his sordid treasure to the last,
Sounds of the winter too,
Sunshine upon the mountains—many a distant strain
From cheery railroad train—from nearer field, barn, house
The whispering air—even the mute crops, garner’d apples, corn,
Children’s and women’s tones—rhythm of many a farmer and of flail,
And old man’s garrulous lips among the rest, Think not we give out
Forth from these snowy hairs we keep up yet the lilt
Thy brow is girt, thy robe with gems inwove;
And palaces of frost-work, on the eye,
Flash out, and gleam in every gorgeous dye,
The pencil, dipped in glorious things above,
Can bring to earth. Oh, thou art passing fair!
But cold and cheerless as the heart of death,
Without one warm, free pulse, one softening breath,
One soothing whisper for the ear of Care.
Fortune too has her Winter. In the Spring,
We watch the bud of promise; and the flower
Looks out upon us at the Summer hour;
And Autumn days the blessed harvest bring;
Then comes the reign of jewels rare, and gold,
When brows flash light, but hearts grow strangely cold.
Although I am ever so glad winter is passing into spring, this sonnet reminds me that beauty can be found in the harshness of our coldest season.
Our region is experiencing the strangest winter. Usually the first snow hits around Thanksgiving and keeps increasing until even the snow aficionados are satisfied. Not this year. No snow outside. Nada. Nuttin. It felt more like Easter service than Advent Sunday service stepping outside of church recently. Sunny skies, a light, yet chillish breeze, a hint of better weather around the corner. I am not complaining. Not at all.
Originally I grew up in the wet Northwest and snow at Christmas was an unexpected bonus. I even participated in the usual winter sports of skiing, skating, and sledding. I moved away and traded the dreary rainy winters for snowy ones. Change of pace? No, temporary insanity. Snow is definitely for the younger crowd. Growing older, having to deal with snow as an adult, the fun factor gets zipped out when one must zip into the expense of snow tires, the heave ho of shoveling snow, and surviving the tedium of four months of various shades and stages of this winter wonder as it passes from winter wonderland to icky icy mess.
Yet, Christmas is a bit more special with the lacings of snow. I’ll concede that point. Look at all those Christmas movies that require snow as part of their plot.
So, out of curiosity I hope you take my snow poll:
Show of hands, please…
“Bring on the snow!”
“No way, no snow.”
“Snow in the mountains only, thanks.”