Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Morning Walk

We take an early morning walk through our neighborhood in the freezing cold.  Sunrise over the harbor makes the frigid air almost bearable.  Bundling up helps, too.  Todd had on so many layers he looked like this:

But he didn't get frostbite, and neither of us got beat up by bullies or got our tongues stuck on any flagpoles, so it was a good walk.  Heading down Wharf Street, I saw these paper whites in the window of Street & Co.  At first all I could think about was the fact that my own paper whites have all passed by, and I added "buy more bulbs" to my mental list of things to do, already slipping into my "get things done" mode.  Then I stopped myself for a moment.  The bulbs were lovely in the thin early morning light, thriving in their clay pot, with just a pane of glass to protect them from the cold.   

And that got me to thinking about winter--how I like it less and less with each passing year, and yet its extremes are beautiful.  Everything lives on the edge in winter.  So much is at stake for animals and people, birds and plants.  Tonight there's a storm coming in, so tomorrow the city will lie muffled and bundled under the snow.  Everything will slow down.  We don't get those pauses the rest of the year, so maybe there's something to be said for the chill.  

By the way, thank you for all the lovely comments on the writing inspiration post!  If you haven't seen it yet, you can find it here.  Hope to see you on Friday for the first exercise!


  1. Lovely photograph of a Winter sun, I spent a bit of my week-end making my notebook totally "mine". Thank you for the inspiration, Gigi :-)

  2. Hi Gigi,
    I love winter but, we don't get it as hard as you do. I think that all of the seasons have lovely qualities. I love the watery winter sun and the snow and open fires and wearing my boots and coats. .... and, I love getting back from a walk and coming home to a fire and a hot drink or an alcoholic one.
    My sister bought me spme hyacynths the other week and, I love them as much before they flower as I do when they flower.
    Have a lovely week Gigi and keep warm and enjoy the best bits of winter. XXXX

  3. One of the things I love about Maine is all the old buildings on the wharves. They are becoming fewer and farther between. Especially in places like Portland where, inch by inch the condos are creeping in.
    Great photos. Thanks for the daily dose of Maine.

  4. That looks like a gorgeous walk you took however cold it was! You are absolutely right about everything moving slowly during the winter months. Even though we don't have your extreme weather, the feeling is much the same of a quiet, more relaxing time of year. Much love to you, dear Gigi!! Stay warm! xxoo :)

  5. mmm ... wonderful images of a lovely morning walk, gigi!

    gosh you make me giggle though ...
    but he didn't get frostbite, and neither of us got beat up by bullies or got our tongues stuck on any flagpoles, so it was a good walk
    hee hee ... and todd is looking a little little there, isn't he? sweet ... : )

    i try to go outside every day in the winter to walk, ski or scoop snow ~ to get some fresh air and put some colour in my cheeks. (to get the stink blown off would be what my dad would say ; )
    i find as soon as i stay 'in' too much, i find the winter harder, so out i go.
    i need to be invigorated ~ i need the contrast of returning to the warmth of our home, feeling very much alive!
    i love the briskness and starkness of this season and remind myself that everything under the heavy blanket of snow needs this rest, needs this bitter cold before coming to life ...

    but i am thinking this is maybe easier here, as we are pretty much assured of being under a covering of snow for the entire season and our cold is a 'dry' cold, whereas you have a more 'wet' cold for sure and that can dampen you through and through ... so you need an extra layer of wool like my cousins in orkney do! and shucks gosh darn, an extra dram of scotch ... ; )

    turn your face to the sun ~ the days are lengthening
    and soon ... soon, this too shall pass ... xoxo

  6. My husband wants to move south for the winters, but one of the reasons I'm reluctant is that I love having Maine all to ourselves, and less demanding, more slowly paced days...


  7. I loved these photos and this post, Gigi. Lots of hugs from the opposite coast. Miss you guys!

  8. First, I just have to say how funny it is that I didn't see that "talk" for "took" typo before! Anne Sexton was notorious for typos, but she called them happy accidents. :)

    Also, I want to add how much I love folks' comments about the winter and cold. I feel the same way about getting outside and tromping around in the snow, and then coming back in to the warmth. I still love that. I do think it's the darkness that gets to me, just as pg touched on. Now that the days are getting longer, I am excited, even though I know that it really isn't spring here until mid-April. Oh, and I know what you mean, mcr, about having the state to ourselves! It's such a treat! We went for a walk at Bradbury Mountain the other day, and it was definitely only intrepid Mainers that we saw there!!! :)

    Oh, and Roberta, I'm with you about those condos on the wharves! I love walking out on Custom House Wharf because it is still so old and real.

    Thanks, Jen! Miss you, too.

    P.S. The photo of the little boy is actually a still from the movie "A Christmas Story." That's Randy, Ralphie's little brother. :)

  9. Oh, I'm excited about Friday! I do love winter. I love the lacy branches against a cold blue sky. I love red cheeks and noses and the way that laughter carries so much farther in the cold. I love it. (Of course, I don't live up north. Maybe I'd feel differently.)

  10. I love your header.
    And I have just read your writing inspiration post and shall be here on Friday for more!

  11. Thanks, relyn and Cait! Looking forward to seeing you on Friday!!!

    I love the lacy branches, too, Relyn! You know, I lived in Indiana for six years, and I loved winter there. We had cold and snow and all the makings for forts and snowmen, but it was all over by mid-March when the daffodils bloomed! Here we're not even close to daffodil time in March! On the other hand, that's maple sugar time, which is a thing of beauty all its own. I have to say, too, that I love Maine. I'll take the cold if it means living in Portland. I don't know of a lovelier place.

  12. Thanks for reminding me to notice the pause in winter. It is not my favorite time and I struggle to make it through January and February. March starts showing flowers and growth and I rejoice. But I am truly trying this year to not struggle, but go with the flow and your post helps.

  13. Gigi, it's 3.30am but I want to comment before I hit the pillow. I love your writing inspiration idea. I love winter. I love it's extremes and the fact that it reminds me that the wheel turns constantly. It also gives me extra material for homeschooling that a year without winter surely wouldn't do ;-)
    Oh I have missed you.
    Wishing you warmth. My fingers are cold from typing and sitting here so long. I must away so I can inspire my possums in a few hours' time.
    A good calligrapher writes with her whole body… Not so a typist ;-)
    Notebook by the bed
    Dreams in hand
    MUch love

  14. I've been feeling the same way about winter, Gigi. I still love the snow and the icy branches and the breathtaking moonrises. But they are getting harder to brave in most every other way. I worry that I'm growing so old that I'll be looking into Florida condos soon. I never imagined a place without winter would hold any appeal for me, but I have to admit, after feeling cold for about a week and a half straight, thoughts of tropical locales are hard to banish. Maybe I just need some wool undies. Thanks for the Friday series. I'm going to fish out an old notebook today. It's been too long since I wrote regularly, I'll look to you for a little nudge. xo

  15. The photos of the harbor are lovely. I will stop back again and look around!


  16. That beautiful light, water and bulbs restores winter-weary senses--at last for me they do! I confess to being very eager for spring's return. We've had lots snow and very cold since November! Happy Days, dear Gigi :o) ((HUGS))

  17. The coast is so beautiful in winter, but there's something about seeing the spring green of those forced bulbs that makes me very happy indeed.

    Do we need to officially sign up to participate in the writing exercise?

  18. I gave paper whites to friends as Christmas gifts, but never saved some for my own living space. I think I need to change that. It would be so nice to see some spring bloom in my window.

    What a beautiful sunrise you have captured. And it's good to know your tongues are safe.... the flag pole comment made me laugh. :)


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