The business of the Holidays is over, A few lights still hang and remind. Now the center stage is for Winter. Pure and simple Winter—Winter without holidays. A solid, unmanaged winter. In the woods we are very familiar with winter. Every stone, limb,log and creature is the intimate of winter. Friend and foe and very familiar. This year my thoughts are on how winter is an important part of my relationship with the woods around me. As in the natural world,all relationships have seasons. In every season I can choose to grow, learn and survive or wither and die off.For me, as a collage artist, I find an inspiration in the Bleak Mid-Winter that I find no where else. In these cold and frozen months I find myself chasing after subdued and frosty colors and textures. Something I would never consider in the warmer months. Winter is a master artist teaching me anew to find the joyful patterns and pathways of the frozen times. I must try to remember this in my relationships also. Always to reach out to beauty in its many forms.
Over the past few years I have discovered that Winter is an ideal time to create art. When I am forced to stay in is a wonderful time for me to take an artistic journey. While the woods outside my window seem still and dead I find my creative juices going strong. Winter invites me to creativity in it’s own quiet way. I find myself once again learning from both the Natural world and the world of Paper Collage.
Winter in Ohio this year has been like a difficult eleven month pregnancy. Nature is waiting, and we wait with it. When will the snows come? The grasses and weeds stand waiting in the fields. The bare trees stand as waiting sentinels. The cold woods are like a waiting room, filled to capacity with well-wishers and wonderers. When will the snows come?
The old wait in concern and dread: how “bad” will it be, will I survive? The young wait with restless anticipation…will there be enough snow to use my new sled: will the schools close? Those in the middle- wonder what will the roads be like; and like the squirrels with their nuts and seeds set aside ,do we are have all the shovels, mittens, vitamins, salt, blankets, that we need?
Winter is a time of waiting and deepening. A time to ponder, reflect and think. This is Winter’s invitation to all of Nature and to us. “Take a break”. “Take a chill pill.” Now that Christmas is over i know that before long the Spring Garden catalogues will begin appearing in my mailbox. From past years experience, I know as soon as I open the first Spring Garden Magazine, I will close the book on Winter and wait for the coming of Spring.
I will find myself dreaming of spring before I have learned all that Winter has to teach me. This year I resolve to try to stick with winter until it passes the baton to Spring. Until I hear Spring grasp the stick in its Merry hand and swiftly run on. Winter is a teacher with millions of years of experience. Winter can teach us to let go and to not be afraid to be empty and barren. Winter has lessons about endurance and fortitude that any General would benefit from. And Winter is an expert instructor about the Powerful Art of Waiting. The woods look dead, beyond hope and lifeless. But that is simply Winter’s great trick. Deep within the rivers, the fish sleep, and the frogs dream. The trees are not dead lifeless things-within their walls the insects and animals are refueling and remaking. The owls and turkeys perch in silence and the squirrels sleep and dream. The plants look dead, many cannot even be seen. And yet both deep within, and barely beneath the surface, the triumphs and glories of the Spring are waiting and and rehearsing for the Great Spring Extravaganza.