Sunday, January 23, 2011


Keeping warm

Lots of snow here and more on the way in two days, and until then, below-zero temperatures. This is always the time of year when I wonder what, exactly, I'm doing here. As I shovel through a three-foot drift on my way to the compost pile. The heap of snow beside the end of our driveway is as tall as I am - we don't know where we're going to throw the next batch, when it arrives.

All this deep January weather has me contemplating warmth. Seeking it, maintaining it, cherishing it, all different kinds of warmth. Chores take on new meaning. Washing the dishes is a pleasure, the water is so warm. So is taking warm laundry out of the dryer. And vacuuming the house keeps me warm. So does shoveling snow, and lugging in wood, and baking cookies. Hot tea, too, cup after cup. In fact, anything around the stove works well. Ryan's been baking a lot of bread. I've been making soup. I invented this great soup the other day, and it's very warming: parsnips, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, curry powder, chili flakes, stock, salt, pepper. Good with dumplings, will cure what ails you, and warm you through and through.

I also keep away the cold by forgetting about it, by becoming so engrossed in a book, or in the making of a painting that I lose track of everything else. Easy to do, when the book is wonderful (I finished Boswell's Life of Johnson over the weekend). Easy to do, when one of the reasons I love to paint is that the state it puts me in is one of suspension of all else, all externals fade away for a time. In reading, in painting, experiencing this state only makes me want to return to it. It's not merely passing time, wishing it away, waiting for the winter to be done. I never wish time away, it's too precious.

Final thought today: keep on the sunny side, after all, it's the warm side.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?