As we approach Thanksgiving, I feel a little bombarded by the frenzy of the season. Everyone is busy, and everything is bustling. Today, we got our first real snowstorm of the winter season which adds a little more frenzy but is also an opportunity to take it easy and notice what’s around us. I love winter. I love having an excuse to hibernate a little. I love the snow. I do recognize that I’m not the one removing it and appreciate those who do that job. I love the light at this time of year and the exquisite blanket of stars on a clear night. I love the way the wood fire heats my bones like no other source of heat. I could just as easily be saying that I’m thankful for those things, but I think being thankful is a little different than loving or appreciating something. I can be thankful for a gift, but I may not actually love the gift. It seems important to me not to trivialize love. Love may even be the greatest gift of all.
I also love summer and fall. I enjoy spring with the plants, and some of the animals, awakening and the birds returning, but I’m not sure I love it. I always feel a little longing for my hibernation, wanting more time to accomplish the too long list of things I assigned to myself. But that doesn’t last long. Soon, I’m getting my fingers in the dirt and watching for every new blossom. Did I tell you that I love gardening? I love the way it connects me to my surroundings and relaxes me. I love the feel of the earth in my hands. Friends try to encourage me to wear gloves, and I probably should.
Sometimes I wear one glove, but eventually that gets pocketed with its mate or dropped randomly. I need to hold the dirt and rocks in my bare hand. I need the sensation on my skin. It soothes me. So, I save my gloves for the unforgiving thorns.
There’s no gardening outside for me now, so I have my indoor gardens. I have herbs in the kitchen window and window box including a huge rosemary and a Bay Laurel tree that I have had for many years. There is a Christmas cactus (actually a Halloween cactus), an African violet and a bromeliad in the bathroom. Then, upstairs in my room, I have a mix of flowers, herbs and ornamental plants. This summer I bought a pepper plant. I was told that, under the right conditions, it will actually grow peppers. I also decided to try keeping my lavender indoors this year. Although I’m not getting my hands in the dirt much, I’m pruning the dead leaves and picking them up off the dirt where they’ve fallen. I get to touch each plant as I water them. I love my huge windows with the east and south sun coming in for most of the day. I love the skylight that lets in even more light. I really love this room where I do most of my writing in its natural light, writing blog posts, memoirs and music.
When the outdoor gardens are sleeping, I spend much more time with my biggest love. You already must know that I love music. It’s the thing that has saved my life, time and time again. With more inside time, I rewrite and rearrange songs, write new ones and resurrect old ones too long forgotten. There are a couple of those assigned to this winter. Sometimes I work on instruments that have also been forgotten. Maybe I’ll even manage to do a new crankie roll in the next few months. Winter is also a time for me to go over all of the things I learned during the summer and fall at Summersongs, Falcon Ridge and NERFA and move my music forward a little more, working on my website, promo and honing the programs I offer to children. I will also be prepping for China. Oh yeah, I love that I’m going to China.
So, what do you love? I would really like to know the things others love. We may share similar things or very different things. We may find that one of us loves something that the other hates. Don’t you love people’s differences? I think that’s one of the things that makes life so interesting.