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  • Writer's pictureWILLIAM HAZEL

In These Last Hours of Winter

Instead of the rush for spring, I choose to linger in these last hours of winter. In the splash-colored backdrop of daffodil and tulip magnolia, it becomes easy to overlook the simple solace the end of season offers. The winter has brought a time of rest, of recharging. Though I am not a fan of the cold, being driven indoors opens doors of mind for slowing the pace. For easing the rhythm of now. For patience.

The early dark offered time for candles and incense. For chosen hours with books, stretched under throws with a perfect coffee in a souvenir mug. It has been a season of slow cooker soups, new concoctions, and twists on favorites. I still, and will forever find regressive comfort in the crumble of crackers over chili spiced to liven the lack of light.

And to return to the practice of quiet time together. The chance for unspoken hours. The quiet brush of turned pages and quieter brush of hand over hand. Of dryer warm hoodies, sharing entangled flannels under fuzzy couch blankets, digging for lost popcorn in cushion cracks.

And the steaming baths of winter soaked meditations through minutes spent both long and fleeting. Winter offered time when the light of a single candle was more than enough.

And the writing. I am grateful for the ever-early twilight coaxing desk lamp and laptop glow. I stumbled with words through the autumn, but the winter guided me back to page. To new projects taking shape. To steadier schedules, more manageable goals, research, and submissions. With more writing came more reading, and mindful slowing of the overwhelming staccato of scroll media.

The winter winddown brought new connections. Friends sharing verse and poem. Joining a writer’s group, and immersing in workshops brought fresh perspective, willing beta readers, and eye opening reciprocity of critique.

Underrated and rarely stated, these final weeks of cold always more shunned than appreciated. Spring comes earlier and earlier. Not a product of the equinox, nor global trend for early heating, but in our science shunning culture of impatience. As Halloween crushes just after the Labor Day Weekend, as Christmas crowds the very day after Halloween, our rush for the immediate indulgence all but eliminates the opportunity of longing, of waiting, of patient anticipation. And so, spring begins with the first hint of warmth. The first kisses of color of blooms. We mindlessly rush past these early weeks of March, these last chances to stretch in winter’s subtle invitation for sharing time for growth unseen.

I am looking forward to bicycles to craft brews, for dirty garden hands, for the sound of backyard birdsong. I am, indeed, as always, looking forward to the sun and the season of new.

But right now, at this moment, the special season of quiet is ending. And so I choose this now. And linger in these last hours of winter.

© Copyright William Hazel, 2023

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