Another Blast of Winter in Spring

Winter just doesn’t seem to want to go away this year. Here in East Dalhousie we were blessed with about 10 cm of snow last night. Some of it melted during the afternoon, and the eaves are still dripping. That said, we’ve been told to expect another 15 cm overnight. I’m not sure what will happen to the tulips in our garden that suddenly burst through the ground late last week, but I’m hoping they’ re hardy enough to survive this next blast of winter weather this spring. But this is not unusual for spring, nor is our complaints that winter just doesn’t want to give up. Still, with each warm day we’re granted, hope stirs inside us. That’s the one thing about hope. It seems no matter how many times we’re disappointed with the outcome of something, we remain hopeful that next time the results we’re looking for will finally show up.

It’s like that when writing a book. Most times it takes several attempts before I end up with the results I want. Some authors write many drafts before they declare the story completed. I tend to edit and revise as I go along, and often never get a first draft completely written out so I have no idea how many drafts I go through. Back when I was writing Flying with a Broken Wing I became dissatisfied with the story and even stopped working on it, so sure I was that it was never going to amount to anything, let alone anything publishable. So I took a break from it and went back to it many months later filled with new hope that this time I was going to make it to the end. And I did!

I actually started the book I’m working on now about the same time that I started Cammie Takes Flight, and while Cammie’s been a book now for nearly a year, that other book is still waiting for me. I don’t expect I’ll ever be a fast writer. Many times I feel as though the story is struggling to find me. Sometimes there’s a lot of static in the way. But when the lines finally become clear, sentences and paragraphs begin to fall into place. That’s when I know for sure the story I’m working on will not get abandoned along the wayside.

And while I’m hopeful that spring will soon be here to stay, there is definitely no guarantee. Just as there is no guarantee that the story I’m presently working on will make it into book form. Still, amidst the struggles and frustration, I try to remain hopeful. It may not always be possible. I sometimes fall into a rut and become discouraged even with three published books and over forty published short stories. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this. We all become discouraged from time to time. But it’s our ability to pick ourselves up time and time again, to find that small bit of hope and run with it as fast as we can, that is responsible for all the accomplishments we achieve in life.

I’ll leave you with this quote that I find particularly inspiring. Maybe you will, too.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Winter Photos

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…. In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~Ruth Stout

Here are a few snowy photos taken at Black Duck Lake yesterday after Saturday night’s snowstorm. DSC04758

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Before this happened there was scarcely a scab of snow to be found. It looked more like spring in these parts than winter. Not only that, the temperature was on the plus side all week long. Nice, since we’d just come through a cold snap.

But, Mother Nature decided to remind us that winter is far from being over. Although spring was flirting with us, she certainly isn’t ready to stay anytime soon.

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I’ve been busy writing this winter, as you would expect. The cold weather makes me want to stay close to home and put a pot of soup on the stove to scorch  simmer. I  also have some reading to catch up on– along with all the usual boring things like housework– as I wait from spring to  arrive again.

What are you doing this winter? Are you enjoying the beautiful scenery or are you hoping for an early spring?

Candlemas Day

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won’t come again.

Candlemas DayOn Facebook this morning people are talking about Groundhog Day. It’s also being talked about on the radio. Bright and early this morning we were being told that we were due for six more weeks of winter, but growing up we always went by what the weather was like at noon on this day. Somehow things get changed along the way without any of us knowing how or why. Who knows, maybe that was just a regional thing?

But Groundhog Day isn’t the only happening thing going on today. The 2nd of February is also known as Candlemas Day an ancient festival that marked the midpoint of winter.  Yay! We’re half-way there. Isn’t that enough to make you shout for joy? Already, you can see a big difference in the amount of daylight hours we have and I find it exciting. I love the way the longer days are becoming more noticeable. It makes me feel happy and hopeful in a way that I don’t feel any other time of the year.

From what I read Candlemas Day was originally a pagan festival called Imbolc which was called the Festival of Lights and focused on lighting fires. The lighting of fires celebrated the increasing power of the sun over the coming months, and we’re certainly feeling that!

So how did The Festival of Lights become known as Candlemas?

The church turned this pagan festival into Candlemas Day. It was the day when all the candles, that were to be used in the church during the year, were blessed. They were then distributed around and a lighted candle was placed in the window of each home. Sounds kind of nice actually. Of course, back in the day, candles were important, not only for shedding light, but people thought they gave protection against nasty things like the plague and famine. Nothing like a famine or plague to take the fun out of winter I like to say.

So while I did know this day meant we were half way through winter I didn’t know exactly why it was called Candlemas Day. Thank goodness Google can answer all our questions.

While this is totally unrelated to Candlemas or even Groundhog day, I do want to mention that there’s still time to enter a contest over at Lynn Davidson’s blog for a chance to win a copy of Steve Vernon’s YA novel, Sinking Deeper OR My awesome brilliant Questionable Heroic Decision to Invent a Sea Monster. I’ve already read the book and enjoyed it a lot!  Here’s the link if you’d like to enter.

So what am I planning this Candlemas Day? Well, I’m not building any bonfires I can tell you that right away, but I may just light a candle tonight to welcome in the second half of winter. I’m also going to enjoy this sunny day and feel glad that we’re half-way through winter.

Happy Candlemas Day! Do you have any special plans for today?

Nature’s Music

When we pay attention to nature’s music, we find that everything on earth contributes to its harmony.

HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN

Yesterday’s storm dumped an abundance of snow on eastern Canada. Strange, that what we now call a lot of snow doesn’t compare to some of the storms we had years ago.

Today I live in the quiet, joyous expectation of good.

ERNEST HOLMES

While I may not be winter’s biggest fan, it is impossible to ignore its beauty, impossible not to hear its sweet harmonious music.

Wherever you are may you allow nature’s music to enter your heart.

Is It Really Spring?

Spring seems to have arrived early in Nova Scotia. Buds are swelling, mayflowers are blooming, and the lakes have been free of ice for weeks now.

And people are suspicious. They want to believe, yet they aren’t quite sure. What if this is just a taste of spring and they’ll wake one morning to find that winter has returned? They’ve been sending out warnings.

“Don’t get too used to it.”

“We haven’t seen the last of the snow.”

I choose to ignore the warnings.

Over the Easter weekend we had record-breaking temperatures. While Halifax was basking in 25 c temperatures, the normal for this time of the year is 5c. It’s been simply wonderful.

I’ve decided it doesn’t matter what might be waiting down the road because I’m going to enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures today.

I’m posting a photo of some Mayflowers my Aunt picked for me over the Easter weekend. I only wish you could smell their fragrance.

I say, enjoy the gifts we are given and, try hard not to worry about something that might never come to pass.

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