Signs of Winter

A blast of winter air blew in this week and ignited in me a strong desire to change the background music that plays constantly in my home so as to drown out the ceaseless wind found in Eastern Colorado. It is October, and although Christmas decorations nestle alongside the ornamentations of Halloween, it doesn’t feel right to begin playing Christmas music so soon. Truthfully, I must confess, in years past I have succumbed to the temptation of playing Christmas music once the first icy winds blow in from the north. Yet this year, I hesitated.

Colorado is known for its perpetual sunshine more than for a distinct changing of seasons. Only in the worst of weather patterns does the sun stay hidden for more than just a day, but unlike in more temperate areas, the earth does not stay green. Certainly there is a beauty in the changing Colorado seasons, of this there is no doubt. Yet, too often the lack of summer rain has turned the earth yellow and the beautiful colors of Autumn are found only in the distant mountains.

In Colorado, it is not uncommon for the first snow to arrive in October. In fact in October 1997 a snowstorm blanketed the Eastern Plains under two feet of snow. Most years, however, the icy north winds only bring threats of snow rather than the fluffy white flakes. Without the prospect of a blanket of snow, the cold, biting wind can overshadow nature’s beauty. When the cold descends, and the sky turns grey, but no snow is in sight, Christmas music can brighten one’s day.

When the kids were at still home rather than in places where Autumn is filled with glorious, rich hues, Christmas music was a magical way to lighten the mood which often arrived with the grey skies and biting winds. Now that the kids are gone and it is just three aging felines and me prowling the house during the daylight hours, the thought of Christmas carols seems a bit overwhelming. Yet, the longing for the simple, timeless melodies of winter music remains. Fortunately over the years I have acquired hours upon hours of holiday inspired instrumental music. No Frosty the Snowman or Jingle Bells, but rather traditional melodies that make one think of hardy souls on windswept plains in far off distant lands or in days gone by.

A morning spent changing the bed linens, adding wool to the cats’ beds, and making a new music playlist has been a morning well spent. The first signs of winter have arrived and I am now ready to embrace the change.

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