Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Enjoying a Winter Watch

Not to be redundant but the weather seems to be playing a significant role in my life these days, as in many others across the states. Even Malverne Mel, Long Island's groundhog, had to take a back seat as the snow hit twice yesterday. While the media sent out weather alerts, the various ground hog ceremonies continued. Three out of four groundhogs predicted six more more weeks of winter. With this in mind, I am not sure how many more snow days can be taken so districts are being cautious. On the other hand, the frigid, snowy conditions are quickly leaving their mark, making traveling a difficult prospect. Yesterday in the early morning hours, several school districts were being reported as delayed openings only to be changed to closings shortly after.

It is a perplexing time for those of us who wait patiently to see if we need to travel Long Island's highways to our professional development sessions. Navigating the highway system is not taken lightly, for traffic heavily flows across Long Island on normal school days. When the weather is out of the norm, extra caution has to be used because driving is more problematic than usual. 

Having vehicles off the road yesterday was a blessing. Today, the sun is shining so bright that it is misleading. Twenty degree seems like forty but under the snow is ice and bumpy terrain. Snow shoveling is much more difficult than usual, even without the falling snow so when headlines come from the media with such lines like,  New York Area Snowstorm Delivers Biggest Punch to Long Island, Connecticut - Arctic Blast Targets 1,500-Mile-wide Swath of US - 23 States Have Been Affected by Extreme Weather Conditions, you know that it is time to slow down, focus on the road ahead, and keep a positive attitude about winter. You never know when a whispering calls you to enjoy the season in an interesting new way.

As an observer of nature and a listener now (to honor my OLW), I spend time watching outdoor scenes change daily. There has been much action lately. The backyard has been dressed by Mother Nature in winter white many times already. 

Today, I found a very large squirrel with a huge nut in his mouth enjoying a winter hop. I was curious as to why this squirrel was out and about so I googled why a squirrel would be outside in winter. From my findings and the assistance of PicMonkey, I turned a basic shot into a poster. Maybe a poem will come out of this quick peek at winter. 

As you can see, despite the challenges of the cold weather season, I am still learning to appreciate the beauty, stillness, and sometimes the solitude of winter that provides me with time to reflect. Taking photos of a favorite winter spot, lingering in thought, and crafting a poem or poetic saying to accompany the photo has inspired me to design the Winter Whisperings Gallery. If interested in joining me as a reflective writer focusing on the season of winter, please access more information here. I would be delighted to see different perspectives on a season that I am learning to truly appreciate, despite the obvious challenges this year. 

Since it is Tuesday, please head over to Two Writing Teachers who weekly hosts Slice of Life. There you can read more slices from this writing community. I was fortunate to meet most of the leadership team at NCTE 14.