Snow blowers whirring, snow shovels scraping, snow brushes . . . well, making whatever sound they make as people brush of their cars.
In any event, I am pleased. Pleased? Yes, pleased. I can point to all the coziness of winter while others complain about the cold and the mess, and they are probably right. But I remain . . . pleased.
There is something about having this period of proper winter that makes me feel somehow that spring and summer will be all the sweeter for having had it. My very nature craves the change of seasons, the sense that different activities celebrate the different times of year. I enjoy it. It sets me right. I feel a part of the natural rhythm and pulse of everything.
I don't ski (well, not since high school), and I don't have any particular winter sport that I engage in or activity that is distinctly snow dependent.
But, I have the birds. Oh, to tromp around in the snow filling feeders and scattering bread, and filling baths with warm water from the tap to break and melt the ice, if only for 20 minutes' time.
Lovely. Rosy cheeks, snowy cuffs, and some deep satisfaction that comes with basic, good, well-done chores. I could have picked a fancier adjective no doubt, but "good" feels most appropriate. It is solid. It is unpretentious. Unfussy.
And the birds react so merrily, with pure enthusiasm. Bird lovers know the flitting and chirping that accompanies an unhurried bird meal. They know us after all these years. They are assured that we will come again and again.
They peer at us from junipers and rose bushes and rhododendrons with leaves curled in frigid air. They peep to each other as they watch us trudge about in the snow and only skitter away a cursory distance. We are the puffy-jacket clad upright animals that bring them their daily bread.
That's good. They say we can't live on bread alone, but bread and the chirping of birds might just about do it.
Be well, be healthy. Be happy.