It has been below freezing for quite a few days now. Add in the wind and we get what us northerners call a windchill temp - which is what it FEELS like with the actual temp and the windfactor. I don't think those of you in the south talk about things like windchill. Ours has been in the negative teens and twenties!
Saturday I was out at the lakeshore in South Haven. It was a blustery day where your skin hurt from the cold and would freeze quickly. I bundled up in my winter gear and walked the pier to the lighthouse. I covered my face with my wool scarf and pulled my hat down over my forehead. I could still feel the biting cold. Not sure what the windchill was that day - but even in my winter gear, I had to surrender to the cold. I turned around and headed back to the warmth of the car. As I was driving away, I turned for one last look at the frozen lake and lighthouse - I caught a glimpse of the sunset.
I couldn't help but pause and take in its beauty. Mother Nature got out her paintbox and painted the sky and clouds with beautiful bright pinks, oranges and purples. A little bit of beauty in an otherwise stark, cold, frozen, windswept, gray day.
Yesterday, the air temp continuously dropped all day. By the end of my work day it was 1 degree out. Brrrr. My car was slowly groaning but turned over and fired up. The windshield was freezing on the inside. Then I looked up and there was the sun breaking through the clouds. On each side of the sun in the sky was rainbow like strip of color. It was so beautiful.
OK, maybe the cold wasn't so bad. My car was warming and I made my way on the ice covered streets home.
So this morning I woke up to another driveway full of chunks of ice and snow as the plow made its way down the street in the wee hours. While I am grateful that the street is plowed - and they even attempted to widen it to its normal width prior to the snow - I was not grateful that its frozen contents were filling my driveway. I drive a car, not an SUV or truck. I could not leave my house without chiseling the ice/snow from the driveway without risking damage to my car. So begrudgingly I picked up the shovel and began chopping away at the stuff and walking it up the driveway to where the piles were not over my head. Not what I wanted to wake up to. Oh, and the air temp was 1 degree with a windchill of -24.
After my hard work on the driveway, I had to go back in the house, re-do my hair and freshen up a bit before going to work. Back out to the cold and once again fired up my car who responded a bit quicker this morning than yesterday afternoon.
On my way to work I travel a divided road with trees planted in the median. I noticed that there were birds in the trees. They looked redish at first glance. A closer look revealed about 10-15 robins clinging to the branches of each tree. Usually most of the robins migrate for warmer weather and when they return we think of them as a sign of spring. It made my morning seeing those silly robins! Resilient.
So even in this frozen place, there are bits of beauty - you just have to be aware and look for them! When you find them, they take your breath away and make your day. Simple little things like sunsets, rainbows and robins. I like to think of those things as the twinkle lights of my life. Quick, short-lived things that bring brightness and happiness for brief moments. It's those twinkle lights that carry us through the darkness and cold of winter!
Stay warm everyone!
PS If you don't know how to stay warm in the winter, get out there and shovel some snow - that will make you sweat on a -26 degree day!