Stops and starts. Most everyone who reads this blog knows that, up until the last couple of weeks, that’s what Northern Michigan’s weather has been like. That sense of pushing and pulling has arisen in our daily lives. I look into the face of my son, and see his awareness grow; the pure wonder, the understanding, both evolving, looming ever larger in not just his psyche, but ours as parents as well. We hug him harder everyday, trying to siphon every moment of his childhood into the core of our being, so not even an instant escapes – though, like all of us, some moments sadly do, when we inadvertently allow our minds to cloud with some of the more meaningless concerns of everyday life. But as the snow here falls, and I focus on the flake landing on the branch, I feel reminded to turn my attentions back to the Divine-imparted light in Jackson’s eyes. That light of innocence blots out the adult-onset bitterness we all battle. That cool flame slows the somewhat disquieting sojourn of age we elders dwell on.
Pulling back, pushing forward, know that I embrace the atmosphere around me happily. I could tell you of the blue-white beauty of the snowscape surrounding us. I could describe the crisp of the air, it’s purity, the surge of strength the Winter Sun brings when it breaks through the thickened clouds. Instead I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, and hope that what I convey here, in words and pictures of the icy/powdery/hard-packed marvel about us here Up North, is an inspiration the natural harbingers of this Season give, compelling parents everywhere to turn their gaze back indoors once more and revel in the God’s-smile our children give us before they step out – snow boots, snow hats, beanies and mittens at the ready – once again, to yes, grow older, but also, get red-nosed and rosy-cheeked … and just be.