In the beginning, we cozy up to the wood stove and think of all the long, dark nights ahead where we can knit, read, watch movies, paint, and dream. There's the joy of revisiting favourite winter meals, hearty and warming, and the novelty of winter sports after a long summer of sand in your butt.
But when my husband went down to the basement last night to load up the furnace with wood (again), we looked at each other in near-disbelief. It's still winter? It feels like it's been a long one. If I have to eat one more bite of shepherd's pie, I might run away forever. And don't get me started on the daily search for mittens, hats, neck warmers, and long johns before I head out to work with the kids in tow.
When this feeling of cabin fever hits, it's good to pull out the seed catalogues and gardening books and plan improbable gardens. We dream of the root cellar we'll have, and how we won't have to buy any root vegetables or apples next winter (we dream of this every year and it has yet to actually happen). But the dreaming in itself is balm for the winter-weary soul, picturing tender new green things reaching for the sun.
After all, one can always find a sunbeam to squish oneself into. One might have to share it with a heat-seeking feline, or one might also use it as a spotlight for the many masterpieces one cranks out in a day.
I know in my head that winter will end. But by late February, it always feels like this has been the longest one ever. It feels like we'll never make it through with our sanity intact.
But we will. Right? Maybe after we make one more pot of soup, Maybe this shepherd's pie will be the last one. In the meantime, I'll be here, knitting away on my Dala Mittens in hopes of wearing them (at least) once before real Spring arrives, and dreaming of rhubarb, fiddleheads, and fresh greens.