Winter Writings

Winter has finally visited New England, snow days have brightened the eyes of my children, and I can’t shake the cold chilling me, tinting my fingernails a less than alluring blue. I should be writing at my desk, glancing up at times to appreciate this white fluffiness floating down from the sky, however my house has been invaded by a construction crew installing long overdue ceramic flooring in the kitchen. The result is my husband taking over my work space. Thus, I have been given safe harbor by an obliging friend, fed a delicious lunch, and am now able sit and create.

Except for two houses worth of children who just arrived in the space of my writing ten words—early release day. Thank you snow. Today is a blog post amid commotion, laughter, excited voices, and gentle snow trying to bring simultaneous peace and excitement, depending on the observer. When creating becomes an issue, edit.

In editing, I came across the photo posted on my Contact page, now attached to this entry. Taken eighteen months ago, I had been discussing getting back into writing with a close friend who had moved home to California. I took the photo, not only to capture the beautiful vineyard, but to commemorate the conversation taking place. I was determined to start a literary career.

I took this photo to remember where I was, not only the location, but my mental space. To give myself a beginning point and to remember where it happened.

That was my first visit to California, to be in the majestic presence and lavish splendor of the Napa Valley. This particular photo was taken at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in St. Helena, an oasis that we were lucky enough to tour, pro bono, because my friend is the pilates instructor of one of their senior wine educators. Yes, life works in beneficial ways. The vineyard was serene, temperature perfect that August day, and the grapes close to harvest time, fragrant ripe orbs of promise. I look at that photo, revisit the moment, and feel its distinction time stamped for posterity.

Today I look outside, Massachusetts cold and sparse, but breathtaking in its own right. It reflects relevant elements around me equal to that Napa photo reflecting a warmer time. Napa’s photo brings inspiration and reminds me how far I’ve come in so short a time. Vitality stems from remembering that New England’s winter will pass, thresholds will pass, and warmth will spread again.

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