by Jane Volker
I often go to the field behind my house. There, a dry-stone wall over-run by hawthorn and bramble is where I take shelter from the bitter elements and look across the moor at the lonely old oak on the horizon. I like best to go when the earth is spent from spring and summer procreation and has finally put to rest its autumn finery.
There is an inherent beauty in winter that few ever really notice. Too cold to see. Who stops to look when an artic wind warns against it? Its penetrating chill forces you to look at the ground. A forward stare is met with icy punishment. Look down. Be careful. Don’t slip. Pull your hood closer, your hair is starting to frizz. Watering eyes and dripping noses remind us to get inside quickly.
I wonder if the Earth is just protecting herself?
She does not want us to gaze on her nakedness and modestly demands we look away. Without the veil of leaf and blossom her shame metes out a thrashing on the brazen voyeur.
Cover up. Eyes down. Look away.
I am not like the many. I am not cowed down by freezing winds and battering rain. The frigid fingers of winter are to me a lover’s embrace thrilling every sense. Bleakness and desolation just reveal the bones, the inherent strength of nature’s glory. It gives my heart purpose this winter beauty.
I think she knows. Even in slumber she needs her lovers.