I love the sounds of melting snow—plink, plink, ting, ting, ting, a staccato drip on sloped metal roofs, the occasional loud crack of a giant icicle, the bubble and gurgle of the mountain brook as it swells and tumbles over polished rocks on its way to the valley below.
I love to gaze at the majestic white peaks with knowing wonder that they will soon morph into greens, oranges, purples, reds and a myriad of ever-changing hues, a dance between the sun, the clouds and the fog, a waltz of beauty and color that never changes partners yet never replays itself, each day a masterful original.
I love the consistency of change, the reminder that in all matters winter never fails to turn into spring, the spring of health, the spring of growth, the spring of a relationship that at points seems as cold and hopeless as the frigid tundra.
Then we usher in summer—the heat, the fire, the passion and the burn, an escalating blaze of sweaty emotions that rise, intensify, crescendo and lead us to the fall—the tumble of all that grew, drifting leaves that blanket us and prepare us for that annual time of reflection when the chill sends us scurrying within.
Winter uncovers spring.
Spring gives way to summer.
Summer melts into fall.
Fall clings desperately to its life lines, like a drunk nursing his last swallow or a child that down to her last bite of ice cream adds water to fill the bowl again, oblivious to the loss of flavor, wanting more where none can be had except in the world of pretend.
Winter sets in regardless, sometimes gently, often with an unleashed fury that shuts us all down without mercy, paralyzes us.
We take cover and hide from its elements.
Still, the seeds lie in sleep, buried below in wait, patient and un-intimidated.
In victory we find the cause for defeat, the fat summer celebration that makes us lazy and lethargic, asleep at the wheel.
In defeat, we taste the bitter dirt that jars us awake, wrestle to get up, find the strength to remember that the only difference between a rut and a grave is its depth.
In defeat we define character, a constant tightrope walk to temper and harden for strength while somehow, some way, clinging to fleeting vestiges of softness, kindness and compassion, elusive companions too often quashed in the fight.
In defeat we discover raw self.
The wise lick their wounds, leave the gashes exposed, observe, re-group, learn, heal and start over.
The foolish grope for the closest band-aid.
Winter doesn’t care.
Is that a lone white flake in the air? Could winter grace us with a few added moments of introspection and preparation, a last gasp of quiet before we reap all that was sown, before the buds reveal themselves and us in this year’s unforgiving tally?
I think so.
We still have time.
Let it snow.
That’s A View From The Ridge…
If you have enjoyed Ridgely's writing, please visit his website at www.aviewfromtheridge.com .
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ridgely began scribbling as soon as his fingers could curl around a pen. So began a love affair, interrupted periodically by schooling, business and any number of self-initiated distractions to mask the fear of pursuing his childhood dream-to be a writer.
The journey took him through Law School, a number of private companies, going public, a large merger and back to his desk, a computer with a keyboard and the daily challenge of following the dream.
Along the way, Ridgely founded and/or acted as publisher for Network Marketing Lifestyles magazine, Domain Street magazine and the Upline Journal along with dozens of books, audio and video materials. He writes several books per year, in addition to The Daily Column.
Ridgely holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Virginia, a law degree from Whittier College School of Law, is fluent in five languages and has spoken to audiences throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, Mexico and North America.