Friday, January 22, 2010

On a Winter's Night

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family. KCB can also be found at

I love flannel lined jeans. I love winter on ‘the hill’. I love life as it is right now.
Ok, ‘love’ may be a strong word when it comes to jeans, but living in Maine and not wanting to hibernate for the next 3 months I declare that anything flannel lined must be a wardrobe mainstay. Loving my neighbor, ‘the hill’, in the dead of winter may be a stretch as well. Let’s just say I love it on the tail of a major snow storm. As far as my 3rd declaration of love, this needs no explanation.

The snow fall was persistent and deposited its bounty in slow steady, healthy doses. From my window I looked out upon the cold ocean bay. White caps dancing on the water mirrored the drifts on the street below.

It was a Monday Holiday, one of those observed by the Government, Federal, State and Local. Banks also do their part in closing every conceivable day they can. As a former banker I admit that once upon a time they closed far more. Most of the day I cocooned, snuggled in sweats. The cars left in the driveway revealed other tenants within my building were staying put as well.

Admittedly I am not a skier. Nor do I strap on snow boards or shoes. What I am is a walker for all seasons. With a sense of adventure I did venture out once but somehow my excursion didn’t feel right. I would seek another time to explore.

Fast forward to darkness! Everyone is where he or she should be, most at home. No cars roamed the streets. A parking ban keeps people close to home. Those w/driveways want to be secure before the city plows create a boundary between road and drive. Others, like myself, who share a driveway, want to make sure they get a coveted space. Then there is the designated parking area down by the small East End Beach. The queue forms at dusk with hopefuls clambering for the available spots.

All is quiet. So still, I even think in a whisper. In the distance the whir of a snow blower interrupts the nothingness. The stately homes along the promenade are all plowed, blown and sanded. The side streets have yet to be scraped by a city truck. Some inhabitants with their shovels and sweat must clear their way if they have a need to escape.

The sky is carbon gray, yet holds a glow. The grassy hill of the Promenade is a blanket of snow, untouched except one pathway carved by those forced to park below. The infinite sheet of silver white beckons for something. For me. For Snow Angels. In the middle of the vastness I fall backwards. I am cushioned by the comforter of snow. I feel as if I could sleep here. My heart is about to burst. Why can’t I always feel this good? I am at my best when my lungs inflate with the freshness only found in the out-of-doors.

In my horizontal position I move my legs and arms up and down, back and forth. I smile as I envision the creation of my childhood antics. Carefully I move a few spaces without a trace of step, a rare occasion of grace and agility. This time I am fall face first. My cheeks burn with the cold and I am warmed.

The next angel has me on my back again. After the flaying of my arms and legs I lay still. I remember a happier time when a 4-legged companion would sully my angels with his paw prints. My face would be wet with doggy kisses and I would laugh so hard salty tears would burn my cheeks. No perfect Snow Angel would exist while my beloved Golden Retriever was around. I miss him.

I did get another dog, but she just couldn’t take the city lifestyle. When the time is right another canine companion will be at my side. All things in time at least that is what I hear, what I believe.

Time to return home. My flannel jeans have kept me warm. My memories make me whole. As far as loving life? Why not? It is all we have. Embrace it any way you can.

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
January 21, 2010

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