Block Island Times

Lots to do in winter

What do you do in the winter?
This week I picked and forced a few twigs of witch hazel; I love its frilly yellowness and light ambrosial scent in January. Don’t mistake this annual activity as a desire for spring. For me, it is a corsage for the celebration of winter. On Block Island we celebrate Ground Hog Day, again, not as a desire to know if spring is in the offing, but rather to celebrate the year-round community. Regardless of why I pick witch hazel or celebrate Ground Hog Day, they are evidence of the coming spring season. We may guffaw a bit about this country’s focus on Ground Hog Day as a predictor of spring, but it has its roots in ancient pagan tradition celebrating the mid-point between winter solstice and spring equinox — a cross-quarter day.
Early February is indeed a time when many are looking forward to days of longer light and moderating weather; although we certainly can’t complain about the cold this winter season. But, this winter-phile relishes the season, and is not wishing it on its way just yet, there is still half a winter left

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