I watched the slow blush of morning move across the winter soft sky. From dove grey to palest pink it proceeds like the opening of a flower until at length the crystal blue reveals itself from horizon to horizon. In the bitter chill no bird utters a sound. Conserving every fragment of energy they huddle in silence enduring the life sapping chill.
The twin squirrels arrive late at the feeder having remained huddled together in their hole in the cotton wood until the sun rose higher in the sky providing at least the illusion of warmth. That sunlight creates pools of cobalt shadows wherever there are objects that intersperse themselves across the snow covered landscape.
Having arrived once again at the shortest day of the year, we know that the Sun King has turned his face once more toward the North Country, but it will be many weeks before winter relinquishes its icy grip.
The timbre of our souls is challenged greatly by the presence of bitter cold and ice and snow and yet there is much that is beautiful in the season here in the Northland.
In addition to its ethereal beauty it also presents us with endless opportunities to practice perseverance and endurance as well as gratitude.
The humblest dwelling becomes a castle if it shelters us from the cold . A bowl of hot soup is a feast for Kings. Warm clothing no matter how drab it may be is a suit of royal attire. All of these things, so often taken for granted in other warmer seasons are the things that give rise in our hearts to the most compelling feelings of gratitude.