Winter Natter

“Cold ‘nuf for ya?”

Um, yes, after all it is winter. How many times during these brumal months are we subjected to such a banal and hackneyed query.

Let’s see, on the cusp of March, so yeah, it is bitter cold outside. I peered out the frosted kitchen window this morning and noticed the thermometer read -5 degrees. (That’s without the wind chill of -18, in case you were wondering.)

But being in the midst of winter, New Englanders expect such harsh conditions. And yet the question persists:

“Damn cold out there, eh buddy?”

Yeah. I get it. It’s cold. Damn cold.

Once removed from the confines of such trite bores, I find freedom embracing the cold. There is nothing quite like taking an early morning walk and run with Andi, crossing the street and bounding through the cemetery to fields beyond, and immerse my soul in the quietude of nature.

On a towering hillock of snow shoved against a split-rail fence, I stood and embraced the feeble sun. Andi patrolled the frozen pasture below, sniffing at another dog’s paw prints.

There was a slight bitter breeze, an invisible slice of brutal cold that cut through one’s bones. Yet I stood and felt the faint warmth of our blinding star on my face.

Alone, atop a hill, I was…captivated. Calm and content. One with nature. At peace.

I stayed that way for a good fifteen minutes, gazing at the serene scene before me, thinking how utterly quiet it was. Nothing moved, everything was rooted in a deep freeze. Not a bird flew by. Behind me, snow-laden boughs of pines rustled, a soft, alluring susurrus of sylvan sirens, dryads wooing me from darkled woods.

An arctic chill woke me from my revelry. I looked down. Andi was staring at me, shivering. I thought it best to trundle home. (Well, I did; Andi padded effortlessly on top of knee-deep snowbanks.)

At home, with Andi secured in a blanket or two, I ran an errand to the Town Hall. A queue had formed at the town clerk’s office.

“Cold ‘nuf, for you?”, an elderly woman said to another woman in line.

“Yeah, sure is. And did you hear? More snow on the way.”

Patiently I waited my turn among such prattle, and thought about mere moments ago, standing on a mound of brilliant snow, embraced by the wind and sun.

Another month of winter is nigh, the incessant chitter-chatter of chill and cold will persist, but it will be those moments, of standing still in the thick of frigid air, that will propel me past the palaver and find peace of body and soul.

©Paul Grignon-2014, All Rights Reserved.







4 responses to “Winter Natter

  1. Dear Paul,

    Your words do bring forth the harsh cold but you managed to revel in the splendour it provides. When one keeps searching, one finds it – even if for fleeting moments.

    Your posts tend to be melancholic and I catch glimpses of the feelings evoked. Connections perhaps – I wonder.

    Yes, I too marvel at the prattle that surrounds us – most people do say plenty of nothing. In most social settings – I go quiet and simply – marvel. Within an hour – after due respect to the hosts – I plead prior engagement and am out of there.

    Enjoy your jaunts and keep warm, for I’m sure it’s cold ‘nuf for ya 🙂


    • Good evening, Eric,

      Well, actually, top o’ the mornin’ to you, good Sir. Whereas you are probably nursing a fine cup of Darjeeling, I sit and quaff a choice beer at hand.

      Thank you for your insightful comment (as always) and perhaps we are kindred souls. Does a touch of Melancholia course through your veins? Mind you, not in a bad way; just something…there. I suppose it resides in everyone, yet some are more cognizant of its company.

      ‘Marvel’ is indeed the perfect word, Eric, for I, too, look on with astonishment at the sheer nonsense that transpires at social events and the like, sundry folk maundering on about…nothing, engaging in pure Jabberwockian feats of bloviation.

      Then, like you, I depart.

      I will enjoy my jaunts with Andi, and I enjoyed your last line. 🙂

      Take care, my friend,
      Paul 🙂 🙂

  2. Paul – I am somehow cheered by the knowledge of your aversion to prattle; I have a similar predilection. I much prefer to just “be” and not circle empty epithets around the obvious. There seems to be a need to fill “space” – what is perceived as emptiness – when truly there is sensate experience surrounding us, at all times. It’s there to be appreciated, savored and pondered, whether profound, subtle, emphatic, or fleeting. Indeed, the insertion of generic statements of the obvious seems to spoil,or pollute, the possibilities of discovery in the moment. There’s a crassness to it…

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m being too harsh when this crosses my mind, or I withdraw from gossip and chatter, but then I check my soul’s pulse and realize, no, it’s OK – this is called awareness and it’s a good thing.

    Have a great day – be well and at peace!


    • Dear Rich,

      Excellent to hear from you, and I thoroughly enjoyed your reply to my post!

      You are, of course, not ‘too harsh’ at all; you are, as you so eloquently state, ‘aware’. The ‘insertion of generic statements’ is wholly unwarranted and unnecessary. “Can we just have a meaningful talk about what is really happening in the world?”, your mind wants your mouth to scream.

      But we remain polite.

      We sit, or stand idly by, nursing our respective beverage, perhaps marveling at the random way drips of condensation wend their way down our glass whilst babble persists in the background. Och!

      ‘Statements of the obvious’ do indeed ‘spoil…the moment’; why not enjoy a moment of quiet, the calm that envelops one’s soul when suddenly the power goes out and not a sound is to be heard. A startling moment at first, but then, calm. Bliss! Something surely to be relished after an onslaught of gibbering clowns.

      Thank you, Rich, for your insightful comments. I appreciate them. And I bid you, as well, much peace.

      Take care,

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