Winter in the Country

I love the spring and summer, but not so much the wintry months in Oklahoma. There are a few snowfalls each year that we are enamored with because snow is spectacular to us. We don’t have four or five months and mounds and mountains of snow to grow weary of it. It covers all the dismal grays and browns and suddenly we see a miracle of sparkling clean. Schools are out and road crews scrabble to save the day with the random road clearing equipment they have available.
Usually, sometime in March, we suffer a damaging ice storm and that is an occurrence that we dread. Electric is out and folks can’t get around, as we have no experience driving on it nor snow tires and chains to help us. But looking close, I find even the flower-poor winter in Oklahoma is filled with God’s wonderful artistry and  brings wonder to feed the soul.
Outside my office window a fat red cardinal hops across the woodpile and cocks his head as if he is listening. Shiny black crows stalk across the dry winter grass and light in the pecan trees for a meal.  
Huge flocks of brown-headed cowbirds with a few red-winged blackbirds, and Starlings thrown in cross the fields feeding in lighting moving swishing swirls like a hypnotizing dance revue finale.
Meadowlarks and doves, sparrows and jays, cardinals and juncos, bluebirds and goldfinches all come close to get a handout in the cold. Hawks and woodpeckers, even owls and the rare bald eagles that went undetected in the summer, now sit exposed and I learn their haunts.
The grasses and wildflowers have dried and there is still a mystic beauty in their sway in waving patterns like the ocean swells breaking on the shore.
The few evergreens that grow here show up in winter when the scrub oaks are brown and the deciduous trees have lost their leaves. The branches of fir trees drop red-brown pinecones. The magnolias shiny leaves, like stacks of green plates, weigh down the limbs to the ground. 
Sprays of red and green berries cling to barbed wire fences and fence posts. Tufts of mistletoe show in the bare branches that arch like filigree against the wide sky.

Pastures are filled with horses who stand with their tails to the north wind and face the south as if they long for summer. Herds of beef cattle graze slowly across brown meadows. Come January, new calves appear nearly every day to run playing and butting heads beside their grazing mothers.

The brown  fields seem to offer little nourishment. Farmers deliver bags of sweet feed and huge round bales of hay through the winter.

I will out last the winter too. Yet, I want to do more than endure. I want to learn to enjoy all the seasons with open heart and seeing eyes.

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