Winter Friends


November 17, 2021 by Jean

Orion clipartOne night in September, I got up in the wee dark hours of the morning and looked out my big bedroom window to see Orion, the hunter, just climbing above the trees to the south. No matter what promises about endless summer our unseasonably warm fall weather was whispering, Orion’s appearance in the night sky was a sure sign that winter was coming. He will be my faithful companion through the cold months, appearing a little earlier each night and taking center stage outside my southwest-facing window in the heart of winter. When he finally disappears behind the trees to the west in March, I will miss him but also welcome the change of cast in my starscape as a sign of spring.

A few weeks after I first noticed Orion’s reappearance, I looked out the window one morning to see lots of little dark, ground-feeding birds foraging for seeds in the garden. These were juncos – more companions for the winter months. The juncos are nondescript little birds until they take flight. As I rounded the front corner of the house while walking through the garden one day, a dozen startled juncos lifted into the air. They looked a bit like so many blowing leaves, except for the flash of their white tail feathers.

This past week, I’ve been reminded of still another treasured winter companion, the rising sun. When I was a child, my bed was beside an east-facing window, and I loved to sit up in bed and watch the sunrise. In my adult life, I have fantasized about having a bedroom window that faced east, but I’ve never managed to make it happen. In winter, however, as the sun rises further toward the south, the sunrise eventually fills the southeast-facing glass door opposite my bed that leads out onto the front deck. This morning, I noticed a rosy glow shining through that window as I got up and saw that it came from the rising sun shining through the trees. I can’t quite see it from my bed yet, but that will come in the next few days. Then, for many weeks, I’ll luxuriate in the pleasure of watching beautiful sunrises from my bed.

Winter can sometimes seem like an austere season, especially as we face our second winter of pandemic constraints. It’s good to be reminded that I will get to spend these winter months delighting in the company of winter friends.

2 thoughts on “Winter Friends

  1. The Misadventures of Widowhood says:

    Sweet and sentimental…my kind of post.

  2. Jackie says:

    For whatever reason, (pandemic, moving, loss of a child…) I have missed reading your blog for many months…. So happy to discover you again.
    You look great in your new picture. Glad you are still well and sharing your insights.
    I look forward to going back and catching up on the messages I have missed.

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I am Jean Potuchek, a professional sociologist who has just stepped into the next phase of my life, retirement, after more than thirty years of college teaching. This blog is about my experience of that new phase of life.

Please join me as I step into my future.

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