A wise friend once told me that you have to live in a place all four seasons before you really feel at home. This week, it finally feels like winter. The trees have shed their bright crimson and bronze coats to leave cool grey branches reaching for the sky. Pines and Cedars that were lost in the lush green velvet of the summer stand stalwart in their sedate mossy coats, sheltering the bare branches of their deciduous cousins. A stark delicate beauty has been revealed without the multitude of distractions the other seasons provide. I notice trees I've never seen before and get lost in the intricate twists and turns of branches as they push toward the pale sun. Those who have fallen lay nestled in the leaves, crumbling at the feet of their sisters.
Our life has also been stripped to the bare minumum. We are forced to think about the most basic things. Every gallon of water, whether captured from a rainstorm or taken from the neighbor's well, seems precious now that we have to carry it. Power and heat all must be carefully planned. There is no simple flipping of a switch for the lights to come on. The batteries must be charged or the generator has to have fuel. Even the refrigerator takes careful watching, for if the propane runs out, our food will spoil. Careful consideration makes each small aspect of our lives beautiful in it's own way.