Forced hibernation…

With palms together, I wish you all a good evening.
It’s almost time…
When you live in the Northeast you don’t need a weather report to understand winter is around the corner; accepting the fact that winter is around the corner is something altogether different. It’s almost time to hibernate. There are those times and this week is forecast to be one of those times where winter plays hide and seek with fall. The temperatures forecast for the week are expected to be in the high sixties; unseasonably warm for this time of year.
Halloween has past. The trees are almost completely bare of their wondrous cover which has been shed after changing to brilliant colors not usually seen in nature. A glance up to the branches overhead identifies a few stragglers holding on in the hope winter will not arrive and the cooler temperatures are in some way a joke. Piles of leaves adorn the front yards of neighboring homes being blown about by the wind which is an almost constant companion this time of year. In addition to the change in clothing, lawnmowers are put away and exchanged for snow shovels and snow throwers. Leaf blowers and rakes are seen and heard throughout the neighborhood. I prefer the latter as they allow for less disturbance and allow me to maintain some semblance of solitude.
For me, the most difficult part of this transition is the change to daylight savings time.
I wouldn’t actually refer to this period as “hibernation”, that period of time from late October through April and sometimes the end of April as “forced.” Many people make a choice to remain indoors and wait out the long cold months to follow. This time of year is unique, not simply for the obvious. Three years ago, while having lunch at a nearby rooftop restaurant, my daughter remarked how we in the Northeast have just a few precious months in which to enjoy the activities enjoyed year round in warmer climates. As depressing as this may be, I see the seasonal changes as an opportunity to slow, become increasingly introspective and enjoy the changes which are brought by fall and winter.
slow down
The temperature outside is 56-degrees yet I sit outside and write. My accompaniment is a fine cigar and a glass of whiskey. The decision to sit outside was a relatively easy one. The sun plays hide and seek behind the cover of clouds. The dull yellow rays play with one’s memory, a memory of the warmer rays of summer sun. These rays do not warm the body but do offer warmth to the soul. A light breeze plays with the leaves, moving them to and fro across the driveway. Those leaves whose time has come and from which all moisture has gone skate across the driveway propelled by an invisible force and sound as though they are skating across invisible ice. I sit outside and type I am wearing a knit hat and fingerless gloves.  Jeans, sweaters, wool hats, and fleece have replaced shorts, sandals and t-shirts as the dress of choice.
My soul belongs outside. Outside is where we were meant to be.There are many things which I enjoy about Fall. The lack of warmth is not one of them. The sounds and sights which, in the Northeast are seen and heard at only this time of year. A friend who resides just 90-minutes to the south of my location has already received several inches of snow. The snow which has fallen on Whiteface Mountain giving proof to it’s name as it is one of the first peaks in the majestic Adirondack Park to receive snow.
There are things I enjoy about the coming winter months, things which I have forced myself to like and even come to enjoy as location, at least for the foreseeable future, is my home. When the snow accumulates to the amount it makes sense to don a small backpack and snowshoes, the beauty and silence afforded one who seeks both of these things is amazing in its restorative powers.
Go outside and explore. One does not need to  travel far to see the hidden treasures which are often closely held secrets within the outdoors; one simply needs to go outside and open one’s eyes. Once open, one needs to see, without judgment the beauty which surrounds us and for me and others like me brings a level of happiness which cannot be found indoors.

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