Earthworms’ Castings

By Jean Ponzi


One For Winter


“I can’t wait for spring,” they’re saying, my friends who grow stupendous gardens. They’re coaxing tiny seedlings now, in holes the size of thimbles, wee plantlets glazing green their flats.

“Sunshine, what’s that?” chorus other friends, keening to get outside.

I‘m savoring every frozen moment. Winter feels so restful! The gray days soothe my spirit, encourage me to curl up and simply read. “Stay in” is my cue to take it easy.

Many pals have gone to warmer climes. Vacationing in Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico – places where you can sweat year-round. These sunny-side-up travelers are a mystery to me. Why do people flee from winter? It’s only like this for a blink in the year. We have such a short time to enjoy our wooly sweaters.

This year’s has been a genuine winter – what a treat! Snow on the ground more often than not. Just enough to slow things down, not so much (here) to cripple daily travel and operations, but plenty to give the schools some snow days. Some ice – enough for at least one round of rare, sublime lake skating.

White nights gently hold to Earth every sparkling flake of light, softly reflecting between twin banks of low clouds and ground drifts. Such nights are exquisitely close and quiet, habitat for restorative dreams.

Each full-moon’s light beams clear black shadows across my snowy yard. Trees and moon weave a phantom lattice that catches my heart and makes me linger. Gazing through the frost-laced panes of my adult home’s chilly windows, I relive contemplative childhood nights, scrying mysteries of my life to come in winter moonlight tree forms.

I’m sure my friends on their tropical trips are seeing scenes of enchantment too, but I would never want to miss the year’s brief cold beauty.

Winter’s last moon is a luminous horn, hanging low in the sky. Next cycle she will tip, a crescent, to release the first spring rains. Darkness advances later each day. Even with snow still covering the ground, I feel the seasons changing.

Soon enough I too will rejoice to get out, speed up a bit and start digging, trading my big flat silver shovel for a green-handled trowel. Cotton will be warm enough again (if it’s zipped into a layer of fleece). A cold drink will taste best.

But for now I’m toasting winter, with a steaming mug of Green tea and my warmest regards to this season I love.

Jean Ponzi hosts the environmental talk show “Earthworms.” Tune in Mondays 7-8 p.m. to FM 88.1 or listen at your leisure to podcasts archived at www.kdhx.org.