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South | North

Candlemas and Things

CandlemasWe're in a long stretch of weeks here.  Mike is travelling more than ever, with a six-day trip starting tomorrow.  The weather is grey and plain.  Of course, the rowan trees predicted that back during the Summer, a Winter with less snow.  I guess this is the time of year that it is hard to keep good spirits.  Very little feels merry or bright right now, though I suppose my melancholic temperament is partly to blame.  Oh, well.  Candlemas!

The children were happy to find some beeswax sheets and candle wicking when they got up on Thursday.  After warming them on a tray by the heat vent, they set right to work rolling their first three candles.  I have long celebrated this day by using only candlelight, though tradition holds one shouldn't really need it by this time of year.  This was fun at breakfast and a little nerve-wracking by the end of the day, simply because the children are accustomed to electric lights.  I try to use natural light as much as possible, both to avoid waste and to give us an appreciation for what is freely given.

We are seeing some signs of the forthcoming Spring--bulbs are coming up.  The rain has been kind to them, and ones that we planted back in December are sending up leaves.  The Fall crocuses are still standing proud, giving me hope that we will see them bloom later on.  Like everyone else, I am thinking of the garden and what we might grow, though that is three months away, easily.  Candlemas was fair and bright, and sure enough, it is around ten degrees this morning.  That makes me happy, of course.  In all my obsession over the weather and climate change, I can reflect on my anecdotal evidence and see that we are usually colder than average.  That is part of the climate of this place--a strange meeting of northernmost and southernmost ecology.

I think we'll try to spend some time outside today, after it warms a little, and maybe take a long walk.  Weather that is neither warm nor snowy makes it feel easy to stay inside and stare out the window listlessly.  This is a good time of year to collect sticks knocked down by the wind, so I think we will do that.  We can always use more sticks around here. ;-)

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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