In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Christina G. Rossetti
It is cold and damp, skies heavy with black clouds, the air is filled with
wood smoke and oily diesel fuel from city buses. Still there are bits
and pieces of color. Playgrounds are filled with bundled up children, all
of them dressed in mismatched gloves, hats and coats. Jumbled by
necessity, they are an art student's kinetic collage come to life.
At the public skating rink there are three generations of skaters, made
equal by the ice. Youngsters hold the rail for support- one handed life
preserver. Snow on their bottoms show they are still in training.
Teenage boys race by, heads down-slamming into the boards. Hockey style
with their friends or falling while showing off for the girls in their
funny hats and water color scarves.
The older skaters steal the show. They glide around oblivious to the
chaos, ignoring the rock music that is not theirs. They are the swans on
this pond. Faces ruddy in the cold, but smiling with joy. They have
found grace they had thought they had lost and their strides are long and
From where I sit they fall less and enjoy it more.
Yes, it is midwinter, but it is not bleak at all.