Last week, I thought I was going to write about being a more prolific writer in the winter, but a different post insisted on being written. Today, I have a snow day, the perfect time to write about winter writing.
As I was driving home from work after dark recently, watching the moon reflecting on the Hudson River and slowly rising over the Taconic Mountains, I recognized how many of my songs have those images in them. In a songwriting group I was in, some of my fellow songwriters commented on the recurring imagery in my songs, mostly involving nature and often the night sky. Although, the world is just as beautiful during the other three seasons, the beauty in winter is very dramatic from the spectacular night sky behind the bare tree branches to the stark grayscale colors and icy reflections. Although, I was born at the end of the summer, I seem to be drawn to that cold beauty. I also have a special fondness for the constellation Orion, and he comes around in the winter, appearing in many of my songs as well.
I’m not sure that’s the whole story, though. In the spring, summer and fall, I am busy with gardening, hiking, music festivals, travel and more. There’s not as much time for reflecting on life or nature. In the winter, I tend to hibernate more, reorganizing my physical space and my thoughts. I do love snowshoeing, but I can only do so much of that. There’s only indoor gardening to think about, so I have lots of time for the things I’ve neglected during the warmer weather. I tend to do more reading in the winter as well. I love curling up by the woodstove reading a good book. In addition, this home is the paradise I’ve been looking for my whole life. Why would I want to leave its warmth and comfort and venture out in the cold weather?
Every year though, I tell myself that I’m going to write songs for the other seasons and then never get around to it. I tried once to write a summer song and was told by that same group of songwriters that the music didn’t fit the lyrics. It was too somber for summertime. They were right, and it turned into a wonderful winter song, “It’s Gonna Be Cold Outside.” A few people have suggested that I put out a CD of songs for all seasons. That would be great if I had songs for every season, but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon, and that’s okay with me. I am a big believer in giving myself assignments for my writing, but maybe not this topic just yet. It’s winter right now, and once again I’m feeling inspired by the cold and barrenness. So … maybe someday. But for now, I’ll enjoy my hibernation and write what comes. All of my upcoming shows will have some winter themed songs, some original and some covers. I hope you can come out and enjoy hearing them as much as I enjoy writing them and then playing them.