Midwinter Is Here

Midwinter is here, and with it comes that lingering slowness of the still-short days. My heart craves the coming of spring, but my mind knows we need more rain, in fact, much more rain. Yet, while the garden sleeps, and many of the tender plants that surround my windows bear the scars of December’s freeze, the sun bravely peeks between the rain showers and warms small, oblong patches of the floor. I usually find the little dog sprawled across one of them, as he too yearns for some sort of reminder of summer days past. 

In the evenings, we often light a fire in the woodstove, but I just can’t bring myself to stay in the office and work when there is a roaring fire in the other room. My attention span is fragile this time of year, and any small temptation to abandon the work at hand beckons. Even the favorite winter dishes I lusted after only a few months ago have paled next to the memories of the fresh, tender fava beans that are still weeks away.
The dizzying weeks of January and early February are now passed.  New Year’s Day disappeared in a flash, then the trip to San Francisco and the Fancy Food Show, followed by the Crab Cake Cook-off and Crab and Wine Days. The next time I looked up, it was February, with the Sea-to-Table cooking class looming. It was somewhere between returning from San Francisco and then that the rain began and winter closed the door once again on the promise of an early spring. Somewhere amidst the chaos and the rain, I remember hearing that the infamous groundhog had, in fact, seen his shadow. 
There are always lots of things on the to-do list that I save for a rainy day. Of course, now that I have plenty of rainy days, I find myself not wanting to do much of anything. Such is the nature of midwinter. No matter, the days will grow longer, the calendar will fill up again, and I will find myself at the keyboard again, pining for the slow, unencumbered days of winter.
Post by Julia Conway on February 25th, 2009