The Dead of Winter


On Saturday, somewhere along the right-of-way where power lines undulate up the hill behind us, a branch from a towering fir fell onto a line—or branches, as many came down under the weight of snow and freezing rain—and in an instant our lights were out. And heat—we would miss that most over the next three tiring days. My propane camp stove has a cousin now, a Little Buddy indoor-safe heater, from Mr. Heater, and it worked really well—our cats found it quickly. And I thought about my ancestors, and how difficult it would be for us to live in the conditions that were normal then.

On a trip outside I slogged through crusty snow and passed this robin as it sat, shivering, on a patch of impenetrable whiteness, any food it could have found locked away for at least another day. Too long for this bird, I knew. There was nothing to do but accept that nature works this way. And feel a little sadness that, come March, spring’s choir will be missing one of its vibrant voices. 

“Alas! in winter, dead and dark,
Where can poor Robin go?”
—William Allingham


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s