Try this at home

I keep getting offers for winter getaways to someplace(s) warm and sunny; blossomy and sun-kissed. I could sail away in a hotel on the water—a hotel of the sea with a chlorinated pool suspended several stories above the ocean’s surface. I could languish on a groomed beach with a drink in each hot little hand.

No thank you. I doubt that any flu shot will stave off the no-see-ums contained within those floating marine petri dishes. And beaches are best wild and untamed.

My feet do miss the feel of warm grass splayed beneath and between their toes. Steve came dancing inside before this morning’s sunrise. He had been gifting Nemo with her morning potato, thinking that his bare feet wouldn’t object too painfully to the inch of snow on the deck. Certainly not for a journey of several giant steps. They did take umbrage. I’m sure we will both do it again before spring because shoes can be such a pain, you know?

A friend who feels oncoming winter with and intense shade of mental gray was lamenting the cold season. “One more winter; I can do this.” Daylight is short and temperatures low. Time is lost to layering clothes and the aforementioned shoes. Flowers and leaves are shriveled to husks that whisper in wind chill.

There are still flowers, tiny blooms of sorts that bud with the cool humidity.

And there are leaves, of sorts, upon lost leaves.

The donkeys and goats, stand with their faces to the sun, eyelids half-mast. Their winter coats are woolly with prisms of guard hair. The turkeys and chickens turn the snow and dried leaves for stray seeds and insects that surface in the insulated layers near to the ground. Their winter feed is higher in protein than in the summer, but they prefer the diverse smorgasborg sustained in leaf matter. The roosters stand guard in their feathered jackets, like sentinels in coats embroidered in jewel-tone threads.

And the sunsets…you just have to be there.

When an illustrated print or pattern is framed as home decor, the accompanying mat is usually selected to highlight s color from the piece or to match the floorcover or curtains. A work of art—now that’s a different story. A work of art is matted in white or black. Black and white are not colors because they do not have specific wavelengths. Instead, white light contains all wavelengths of visible light. Black, on the other hand, is the absence of visible light. A work of art stands alone. Winter is the mat for nature’s art.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I have enough sweaters to frequent this Northwest Ohio gallery. I’m sending you a scarf, Russ.

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