COLUMNISTS

Winter is so much more than snow and cold

Jerry Apps
Jerry Apps' book "The Quiet Season" gives us reason to pause and enjoy this less hectic season.

On this wintery day here is something from my book, The Quiet Season:

Winter is a quiet season, when nature rests:

the trees and the grasses,

the wildflowers and the birds,

the animals and the pond creatures.

Winter is a time for endings and a time for beginnings.

A time to regroup and a time to reconsider.

A time to reflect and a time to revise.

A time to evaluate and a time to plan for the morrow.

Winter is a season of great beauty,

blacks and whites and grays

and a sprinkling of green from the pines,

the firs and the spruces that dot the northern regions.

Winter is a season of subtle shapes with few sharp edges

as snow blankets the land with a soft and curving cover.

Winter is a season of subtle sounds:

the almost imperceptible sound of snowflakes falling,

the rustling of bare tree branches caressed by a winter breeze,

the quiet dripping of meltwater from a farmhouse roof.

Winter is a time to listen for the silence,

when the cold tightens its grip,

turning breath into clouds and thickening the ice on the lakes,

when snow cover muffles all sound.

Winter is like a great river,

always the same but constantly changing,

each winter resembling the one before,

but each like no other.

Winter is a season that demands respect, insists on it.

It is a season that refuses to be ignored.

Winter is a season that never leaves us.

It is forever a part of who we are,

what we believe and what we value,

and how we see the world.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Winter is so much more than snow and cold.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work, go to www.jerryapps.com.