In 2013, we found ourselves living in Green Lake, WI (for three years). It was an incredibly exciting opportunity and one that allowed us to truly experience nature and the seasons like no where else we had been before. First (true) winters are always exhilarating because the world opens up to you in ways you never knew existed. Your first sled ride down the hill, the first time you snow-shoe or cross-country ski, midnight walks on the frozen lake under a full moon, or seeing the winter architecture in the trees, all so very beautiful.
But winters can be harsh and long too, and in places like the northern states, by February you are longing for the green leaves to come back and you wonder how you’re going to keep it together during those short very cold days when by 4pm darkness has set in, and you still have the long evening ahead of you.
I learned a lot from our winters in Wisconsin, and keep those memories safe in a tiny place in my heart. I wrote the following piece hoping to convey at least a little bit of sense of what it was like (for me) to be there.
The hope is, we make it through this winter.
Away from loved ones and friends,
from the warm beaches of your Mediterranean Sea
and the wide sandy esplanades of my California Coast,
holding on to this small family of three we’ve created.
The hope is, we have enough white oak and black locust
to make it through this Green Lake winter,
that root vegetables stay dry in our cellar
and there are wool blankets a plenty.
That underneath the vast winter quilt outside,
our lifeless garden renews itself in silence,
preparing to become fertile again.
The hope is, we find each other once more,
with long, good conversations, like the ones we used to have,
and the comfort of knowing
if we’re together, we have everything we need.
The hope is, that amidst our snow covered souls
the sun will continue to shine every morning,
reminding us that spring is but a few months away.