Saturday, January 9, 2010

Southern Exposure

Nothing restores the soul in winter like a south-facing window on a sunny afternoon.

I am fortunate to have a glassed-in porch at the back of the house. It is narrower and more rustic than I would like, but on a cold sunny day, with plenty of snow on the ground, it is heaven on earth.

It was 14F when I took the younger dogs out this morning, and the snow in the field was knee-deep. Wolfie and Bisou plowed through it like a pair of dolphins in the surf, but before long I could tell that even they had had enough, and we went inside. I unfastened my treat pouch, took off my sunglasses, gloves, hat, and coat. I rubbed Bisou with a towel and did my best to melt the snow balls that had collected in her armpits and belly. And then she and I went into the porch.

It felt like 80F in there, and was as bright as a Mediterranean beach. We sat down on the old loveseat that is too banged-up for the living room and watched the birds at the feeder. The day we took down the Christmas tree was so frigid that we just threw it out the back door, thinking to drag it out to the woods later. But what with the non-stop snowstorms and everything, the tree is still lying there, right at the foot of the bird feeder. The chickadees perch deep inside its branches and eat their sunflower seeds in comfort, out of the wind. I think we'll leave the tree there for them until the spring.

What a difference the sun makes! Snuggled in our loveseat, Bisou and I do a bit of Apollo worshiping. Against the window, my modest collection of houseplants--the rosemary bush, the scented geraniums, a tall pony tail plant, a jade plant in bloom--are worshiping too. Plants by a window--cold outside, warm inside--did I already say it was paradise? If Bisou and I were cats, we'd be purring.

My boots come off, then the fleece top that I wear over my cotton shirt, but I keep them close at hand. Pretty soon the light will begin to decline, the temperature will drop, and Bisou and I will retreat to the living room, and sit on our sheepskin by the woodstove.

5 comments :

  1. My parents do the same with their tree--just leave it in their yard for bird shelter and then compost in the spring.

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  2. Isn't it wonderful when what is easy is also good?

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  3. oh how lovely. i really wish we had a porch like this. our front porch is three-season but this time of year it's not much warmer than the outdoor air. all we can do is wait until spring.

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  4. Our covered front porch gets late afternoon light. Often on weekends I sit out there in a sweater, reading a novel and watching the dog walkers trek by, bundled in hats and scarves and gloves. We must be just enough out of the wind to have entirely different weather! It certainly feels terrific to sit with my face in the sun...good for dopamine levels!

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  5. What? You're sitting out there with just a sweater on? Don't you know you'll catch your death?

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