Lately my days stretch into early morning hours. My body responds to winter by turning me into a nocturnal creature. It is quiet in the cabin. There are Christmas lights glowing and heat from the stove. In this moment, everything is easy and understood. I am fond of these early hours as I witness the slow coming on of day. I am close to the center of this season, eleven more days and it will be winter solstice.
Ideas come around at this hour. There are long stretches spent staring at the moon. Outside, it is still and warm enough to linger without your skin burning with cold. I notice the sound falling snow makes on the hood of my jacket. I appreciate ice crystal's laced against our outhouse windows. The moon is so bright it throws shadows across the snow. Each is a gift. No detail is spared. Winter is rewarding me, I think.
There is a line in Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek that I have always loved. I found it my second winter in Alaska while living in an A-Frame Cabin off Kestrel Lane. I tore it out of the magazine and pasted it into a treasure chest of found words and inspired pictures - 2003's winter project. Her words reveal an intimate understanding of a powerful season.
"I bloom indoors in the winter like a forced forsythia, I come in to come out. At night I read and write, and things I have never understood become clear; I reap the harvest of the rest of the year's planting."