Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ice and Lace



This February is a month of collecting myself and truly beginning the year in earnest.  So much of January was spent in recovery from the holidays, from expectations and disappointments, not to mention from consolation pies and cakes and the subsequent onslaught of belated resolutions.  February, on the other hand, is already charged with intensity, productivity, plates and plates of green vegetables, and with the promise of brighter days ahead.  

If you live in New England like I do, you hold no illusions about spring being just around the next corner--or the corner after that.  In fact, in this part of the world it's easy to think of February as nothing but a month of mud and slush and bitter cold, but the days are growing longer, and even on the chilliest of afternoons, there's a robin or two going about his business on a small patch of mossy grass that the sun has decided to hit just enough to melt the snow.  Indeed, when I look closely, I see February for what it really is.  It's there in the piecrust edge of ice just above the surface of a stream or in a flash of sunlight through bare branches on a back road, delicate as a bit of Valentine's lace.  

For me, the best way to feel the subtle promise of February is to walk outside each day, even when it's bitter cold, and to return to the same paths and streams and trees to note the shifts of light and the feel of the earth beneath my feet.  Yesterday as we walked along the edge of the Concord River where the banks have overflowed and frozen, the ice moaned and cracked as if a river monster were just beneath the surface, heaving himself up against the hard roof of his world.    

With each day now there will be a few minutes more of light; the sun will climb higher; and the river monster will eventually get his way.  But first, we'll watch the frozen lace on the marshes and streams flirt with the water below it, some days growing, other days receding, until finally (sometime around June, I think!) it will return to the water once and for all.  

Here's to February, to sunlight, and to love.   

33 comments:

  1. Oh, yes... here's to LOVE! And I am in love with your photos today, Gigi... *BIG SWOON*... :o) ((HUGS))

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  2. Here's to sunlight and love and the most dreamy post. I just loved it and the pictures are amazing.

    xoxo

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  3. gigi you have a wonder filled attitude about the month...such a stunning canvas to use in your "art"

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  4. Your photographs are beautiful and inspiring, Gigi.They look more like paintings.
    Here in Great Britain, it has been known to snow in May so we just take everything as it comes, weather-wise.
    I'm lucky enough to have the disposition of enjoying all types of weather. I really don't mind what it's like. It all has it's merits.
    You are sounding so wonderfully positive, Gigi. I think that your post will brighten everybody's day and put a smile on many faces. ....oh, and the green veggies will be making their way into our house from tomorrow !! I've got to go out to lunch today so I will make this my last indulgence for a while !!!! XXXX

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  5. Stunning photos you have taken! The past couple of weeks I have not wanted to go outside unless I had to because of the cold and grey weather (with some exceptions), but your post made me want to actually put on every warm clothes I have and go out and take some pictures again.
    Thank you for spreading so much inspiration and positive energy in such a cold period of the year.

    Hugs from MiaNostalgia

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  6. I was pulled into this post Gigi. I love the beauty in your words. I love that you still venture outside when the world is frozen over. Living in the South where spring is truly just around the corner, I find myself staying in where it's warm. Today, you've made me want to bundle up and go explore my little world in the dead of winter.
    (also, I so related to January being a recovery month...I've gotta remember that next year, it would save me a bit of disappointment.)
    Wonderful post~

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  7. Absolutely...it's so funny how people start saying spring is around the corner in February...cause it sure aint around the corner here in Austria! :)
    But you are right...nature shows us mercy by lengthening the days and giving us patches of moss and breaks in the clouds...a few days of ice and snowy fields glistening under a blue sky.
    All the best to you, sweet friend...

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  8. gigi
    "the promise of brighter days ahead " ah, my friend... i sure need to hold faith in that one.

    i noticed also the days getting longer... woo hoooo!
    ~laura

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  9. Your pictures are stunning! And your words are so beautiful! I love the image of the river monster heaving against the hard roof of his world--and the idea of walking outside down the same paths every day so we can see the subtle changes. Brilliant!

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  10. Gorgeous photos and such uplifting words, Gigi.....they definitely made me smile! I love longer days and sunshine - which is probably why I live where I live too..:) Those green veggies are always a part ofour lives, but we are making a concerted effort to have more and more of them, it makes everything feel better...:) Have a gorgeous day, my wonderful friend! xxoo

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  11. such lovely photos indeed! and your write so beautifully too.

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  12. Ice is one of the most beautiful things to photograph...from frost on the windows to ice on the river...your photos are gorgeous:)

    I hate to wish for spring to come quicker...time goes by too fast already...I am trying to savor each day for what it is...including these cold days of February...That being said, it has been very noticibly light later and later...which I love!

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  13. I can feel your mood changing...I hope the worst is past for you. The photos are always so creative and beautiful. We know in Illinois that winter isn't nearly done with us!

    Sue

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  14. Gigi, you are writing beautifully here! I love this idea of the coming spring as a monster under the ice, heaving itself up into the world. And it is accurate -- standing beside a frozen river during this month, one can hear the monster down there, just beginning to stir! These pictures are marvelous, too, especially the first and third -- such a delicate touch with the light….

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  15. Gigi...I love your words! Thank you for letting me accompany you on this glorious February journey - there is hope and a glimmer of Spring around the corner!
    Bises,
    Melissa

    P.S. Yes, yes, yes! Music and cooking go hand-in-hand just like a great glass of bubbly or wine while stirring!

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  16. Your photos are so pretty! I live in Vancouver, and we have had absolutely no winter. I guess it is kind of nice to see heaps of flowers popping up, but I do love snow.

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  17. Gigi, the photography is gorgeous...loving your attitude;the brrr-brrr-cold weather, such appreciation in the words+visuals! Ice & lace sounds like a delicious cocktail no?!
    ~cheers*

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  18. Another wonderful visit with you Gigi~
    Spring isn't to arrive anytime soon here-but I love this time of year for what it is. I hope you are well. Really beautiful photos.
    Maine is so very cold right now~

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  19. amen, my friend. here's to it! : )

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  20. it is amazing just how much the days have lengthened in what seems to be a very very very short time. hope you get to enjoy some of the beauty that we never see, like the patterns in the ice and i couldn't imagine how the river moans and groans.

    i hope your month is filled with the sunshine and love.

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  21. those top images are gorgeous...i couldn't even tell what they were at first. lovely!
    xox alison

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  22. I am drinking in your words, I love them so! Here is to love, indeed!

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  23. Just love your photography. It can hang on my wall anytime!

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  24. I keep coming back to visit this post, so I thought I should how beautiful I find the pics and the sentiment.

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  25. Oh, my god, what writing (not to mention the photos)! I love this piece--the monster, the vibrating images, the "onslaught of belated resolutions." This grabs my breath and pitter-pats my heart and tingles my toes.

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  26. Gigi...oh my friend...where to start....beautifully written..

    "piecrust edge of ice" (swoon...swoon)

    "delicate as a bit of Valentine Lace" (double swoon...again)

    you have the gift, my dear

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  27. I loved reading this! You are right about January being a month of recovery-I also see it as a month of endurance and survival-I manage to do just enough to keep the essential things going but cannot manage anything extra. With February I can feel my energy slowly returning.
    I love the beautiful pictures of the lacy ice.

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  28. Gigi, I live in the country and as such I have a similar ritual. Sometimes I have to go outside to breathe the air and change my perspective if I've been inside for too long. But it's on the long walks that you start noticing a bud here, a birdsong there... Except here there's no snow and enormous amounts of mud. Makes taking the dog for a run a challenge ;-) Enjoy your strolls and crisp Feb air ... and don't let the river monster get you!

    Your photos are sublime but I ADORE the first one for the blue...

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  29. Thank you for putting into words why I love Winter. I know I might be bias.....winter is the seaon we get some rest and I get to play in our greenhouses....alone!
    xo,
    Carole

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  30. I love how you interpret the world around you. I love the words you have chosen to describe the February that has become yours.

    I felt the same way about January this year...I had high hopes for it, but February felt much much more like a new beginning..veggies and all!

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  31. gigi, these are pretty spectacular pictures. and my, but did you articulate the tiny peeping promise of february so beautifully. this is why you are a writer, a poet. it sounds crazy but i miss this time of year in new england. just a little bit. but i'm ok with desert winters for now;)

    xo.

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