The weather has been showing it’s Minnesota mood swings. One day it is summer, then the next feels like November! Just when you think you should put away the summer gear, it is suddenly 80 plus degrees and sunny. There isn't anything we can do about the weather, at least in the moment, so being good Minnesotans, we roll with the punches. The creatures around us must do the same. They take every day as it comes. So they are busy storing up supplies for the long cold winter, or preparing to head south, or getting ready to hibernate. So what are you doing to prepare? For me going south doesn't seem to be an option. Hibernating seems like a good idea, but since I am human, not a bear or squirrel, I guess staying in bed all winter isn't an option either. So that leaves preparation of supplies to get me through the winter.
I am fortunate enough to live in a time where we don't need to put away all the food we will need to get through the snowed in times. A couple days and a plow will come by, town has everything I could possibly want even in the depths of the cold. So that leaves me to prepare mentally. The long dark, cold winter can be beautiful. Sparkling snows, frost covered trees, stark shadows on pure white snow. But it can also be cold. Dark. Seemingly endless white.
I must stockpile the green. The fresh bright greens of spring, the deep greens of summer, the fading greens of fall. The blue of the summer skies is different than the sky of winter, and none beats the October sky. Flowers and frogs, running waters and moss covered bogs. I tuck away memories of hot, hazy meadows and shadowed woods. The sound of the water hidden under the mossy trampoline I bounce gently on. Fields of yellow goldenrod, the deep reds of the sumac. All must be carefully observed and remembered. All my senses inhale and refuse to let it go. My camera captures seconds in time, moments in a longer day, just a fraction of what was out there. It triggers the memory. The scents and sounds flood back in. The moment is relived at a time when the world has changed so much it is unrecognizable.
Those memories feed my soul in the long winter. Browsing through photos, reliving the moment, timetraveling back to those days, only months before. I will appreciate the winter for what it is, when it is here. But, when the darkness seems unrelenting, I will have my supply of spring, summer and fall at arms reach.