Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cold Day Musings

"In the depths of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer."  Albert Camus said that, or something like it.  I've found dozens of variations on this statement attributed to him.  Either he said it or something like it many times, or people weren't listening or reading accurately.  This began as a very cold day, 13 degrees according to the usual unreliable sources, yet sunny.  No snow on the ground, so the sun put me in the mood of yearning for sunflowers and bees.  I just happened to have the above photo from last summer on my laptop.  One can interpret the quote literally, and I relate to it literally, but, if you know Camus, it seems likely there are layers of metaphorical meaning. 

Some folks experience the winter blues so deeply, they give the impression that the condition is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Not me.  I grew up in New England, and if you don't like winter, that's not a good place to be.  I loved playing ice hockey on frozen, flooded cranberry bogs.  Before our skates scratched up the surface, rendering it translucent then opaque, I was constantly getting distracted by the fish and turtles I could see swimming slowly beneath the ice.  On a certain level, I was probably yearning for spring so I could renew my acquaintance with these critters.  In Quincy, at 3,500', we are the borderline between true winter and semi-winter.  That is, we sometimes get lots of snow but other times get little or none. For instance, despite the bitterly cold mornings, rain is forecast for later this week.  Minor variances in conditions in the oncoming front could turn rain to snow or vice versa.  I wait.  It always interests me to see how various humans and other animals respond.  If I take the position of anthropologist, I am pleasantly occupied and don't mind whatever weather Mother Nature delivers.  However, I can assure you there is in me an invincible summer.  I can hardly wait to resume photographing, drawing, and writing about wildflowers and bugs, and showing others where to find some seldom seen delights of Plumas County. 

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