This Season We’re In

securedownloadRed Vogue emailed me a little winter promo she had put together because the jumping fish girl is actually Supergirl. When I saw it, I just sat with my chin in my hands for a few minutes and stared. It’s so lovely.

The feeling I get from seeing these two photos side by side is the essence of Minnesota life for me. The lakes loom large for our families, in winter, spring, summer and fall and to see Harriet dressed in her two most contrasting costumes is a good reminder that winter is not forever. And also a good reminder that winter is not forever.

Y’all know I’m a fan of a wintery lake. When I was the mystery guest in Supergirl’s classroom, my clues for favorite places were 1. Clancy’s meat market in Linden Hills, 2. First Avenue and 3. the middle of the lake in the middle of the winter. Tiny dancing is still one of my life’s most unique and mind clearing ┬ápleasures, but trucking out with the kids, Dash and Foxy Brown (or any combination thereof) is equally warming – warming in all ways.

If you haven’t walked out to the middle of Lake Harriet by yourself, with your dog or with your kids, you are missing out. Truly missing out on a physical and mental sensation that is ephemeral and uniquely tied to this time of year. I’ve said this before: It is found ground. How can we not enjoy standing on its firmness and marveling at our spot in the world?

When I’m out there, my pooch tearing around like a chocolate blur, I find myself slowly turning 360 degrees to take in the white expanse, the variegated sky, the winking lights. When in life do we ever take a slow 360? It’s so rare.

I take the big clearing breaths I don’t remember or get to take the rest of the time when I’m wrapped up in my bulky sweaters, hunched against the wind or over a cup of hot tea.

I note that what’s missing in color and saturation is more than compensated for in pattern, texture and shadow – all courtesy of the wind and the clouds and Mama Nature’s deft hand.

And I am grateful for the cold that makes it possible, because that is no longer something we can or should take for granted.

Winter is not forever.

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